Technology has changed how we live our lives and many research groups and teachers believe it is negatively affecting students’ abilities to learn. Students tend to lose focus in a learning environment by gazing off into cyberspace. This leads to failed exams and poor overall grades. If students didn’t have these distractions, they would be excelling more in their classes.
Students tend to look up websites that interest them rather than taking notes during lectures. By taking technology away from an engaged learning setting, students would have one less distraction.
A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that removing laptops and iPads from classes resulted in better quality teaching. Students were able to improve their focus more and exam grades rose.
According to a 2016 study from the University of Nebraska, college students are spending more time on their smartphones and other devices in class now than ever before. The study found that 20 percent of the class time, students are on devices doing something unrelated to the class.
Students from the study admitted that they were not paying attention to the lectures given in class and understood that their grades may suffer, but most of the participants indicated that they would not lessen their use of technology in class.
Teachers have also caught on to how students use their time when they are given opportunities to complete tasks using laptops. An article from The New York Times describes students having a “Wikipedia problem,” where students are so accustomed to immediately getting answers with a quick tap of the keyboard. Students have become so reliant on the internet, they are likely to give up when they don’t receive the answers right away.
The article states that the amount of students with lower grades has risen over the years due to technology use in class. To combat this, teachers are getting more creative to engage students in the learning process. Teaching styles now involve movement — walking around the classroom to get the students’ minds working and ready to problem-solve.
Technology greatly affects how students learn in class. Students who use laptops in class find less elaborate answers to questions that are meant to be analyzed more thoroughly with their minds rather than their keyboards. When the students find the answers, they copy them carelessly and focus on other things that interest them more. It’s worth a second thought when bringing laptops into class to engage yourself fully into the classroom.
Freshman journalism major
Printed in the 11/01/17 issue.