Earlier today, I took a bathroom break in class. As I was washing my hands, there was an elder woman washing her hands as well. She looked at me and asked if I was taking summer classes. I told her that I am currently taking Intro to Multimedia and that it is very interesting, especially when it is applicable for real life usage. She then told me that she teaches at Rutgers and that she would definitely want to take a class like this. But right before I left the restroom, she sort of complained: “Technology can be so intrusive though.”
Her last comment about technology reminded me of Kelly Marshall’s article “Laptops in the College Classroom and Creating an Environment Conducive to Learning.” The article explains how students using laptops in class for purposes other than note taking and getting distracted. These students then end up with grades lower than others who just take notes. As college student, I can say that I strictly use my laptop for note taking and nothing more. I can’t seem to bring myself to use my laptop for Facebook, Youtube, and other sorts of different social media. I find it much more of a distraction and quite “intrusive.”
I feel that having laptops in class and using it for other purposes other than note taking, defeats the purpose of going to school. Going on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other sites are more like leisurely activities. When you go to class, you are suppose to focus on the teacher and learn as much as you can. Yes, losing focus is possible once in a while but if students were to bring their laptop to every single class and get distracted, I would think that is equivalent to not going to class. And teachers allowing students to bring laptops to class sort of blur the lines of education and leisure activities. Students can be holding conversations with other people not in class while they should be engaged in the discussion in class. But at the same time, if the class’s focus is on learning to use technology like ours, then it makes a difference.