Laptops have become a staple of college classrooms around the country. But how many students are using them to furtively shop online, answer a quick email, or check out a friend’s Facebook post while a professor is delivering a lecture?
Professors at BU and across the country have begun to insist that students leave their tablets and laptops at the door. Why? Numerous studies have shown that students who don’t have access to the distractions of a laptop perform better on tests than those who do. Some research indicates that multitasking students (those taking notes during a lecture while they’re surfing the net, for example) have more memory impairment than those who are focused on class. Other studies show that even when students use their computers during class time solely to take notes, they still perform worse on tests than those who take notes in longhand. Research suggests that typing—versus writing by hand—results in shallower processing of information.
But there are lots of champions of computers in the classroom. We wanted to know what you think about the subject, so this week’s “YouSpeak” asks: Should laptops be banned in the classroom?”
“YouSpeak” typically appears on Mondays. If you have a suggestion for a topic, leave it in the Comment section below.
Jay Colamaria can be reached at email@example.com.