Classroom Face-off: Do laptops help or hurt the attention spans of students? – No Laptops

    It’s a scene that’s been depicted many times before in pop culture: college students sitting in a lecture hall with their laptops open, typing furiously, taking notes on the monotonous lecture their professor is giving. It seems like the perfect situation; however, upon starting my first semester at Rider, I discovered that is not the typical college scene.
A number of professors here at Rider University have made it quite clear to their students that they don’t allow the use of laptops in the classroom. This all seemed so ridiculous to me, but after watching others on their laptops during class and using my own a few times, I discovered that this silly rule wasn’t so silly after all.
Almost every student who had his or her laptop open during class was doing practically anything else besides taking notes or working. Whether they were browsing Facebook, Twitter or any other website, Microsoft Word remained unopened on most desktops.         They weren’t getting any work done, let alone listening to the professor’s lecture. Even I would find myself watching my fellow students scroll through their Facebook newsfeeds and timelines and losing focus on what the professor was trying to teach us. Not only was it distracting to them, but it was distracting to other students around them as well.
It wasn’t until I tried bringing my own laptop to a class that I realized how big the temptation was to goof off in class.     Throughout the entire lecture, I found myself mindlessly opening dozens of tabs to check my various social media. Before I knew it, class was over and I hadn’t taken any notes or learned a thing. I couldn’t believe how distracted I had gotten because of a few websites. It was very clear to me how easily people could lose themselves on the Internet in class.
Numerous students might think the “no laptop rule” is ridiculous; however, professors do have good reason to enforce it in their classes. It’s hard enough to grab and maintain a student’s attention during a lecture, and access to high-speed Internet isn’t helpful. The professors here at Rider are only trying to help us learn and prepare us for the real world. After all, since we’re paying all of this money to get a good education, we shouldn’t waste it by playing games all class period.

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