Two years ago at UW-Washington County –on a day forever seared into my memory- I was thrown out of a lecture hall. Why? I was caught red-handed committing a serious crime…taking notes.
The day of the unfortunate incident I was taking notes for myself and a friend in the class who was sick. That morning I decided to skip my notebook and brought my laptop to class instead so I could email her the notes afterwards. I had seen several other students use computers throughout the semester, so I thought nothing of it. I sat in the way back so I wouldn’t disturb anyone with the light from the screen. Halfway through lecture the professor halted midsentence and told me to put away my laptop. I told him I was taking notes. He responded by saying I could either put it away or leave. I was dumbfounded, and the only rational thing I could do was storm out, more confused than anything.
When did technology become such a taboo thing? When did colleges stop embracing computers and smartphones as something that could be useful?
Hartford Union High School, along with many similar high schools in the state, encourages its students to use personal technologies such as laptops. They even issue students laptops to use until graduation. The teachers also allow the use of smartphones in the event of a student forgetting his or her calculator or computer.
Colleges should be going forward with the times, learning from local high schools. Professors should be promoting the newest technology and teaching students how to use it to their advantage. That is the only way to create educated citizens that will help develop or improve the companies of the future.
Laptops, tablets, smartphones, even iPods all have their own unique purposes. They may be used for research, note-taking, recording lectures or even asking a tutor for help. Of course there are distractions that come from using technology, but there are going to be distractions no matter what. Students have been using pencil and paper to scribble notes back and forth for decades. At least texting is a lot quicker.
In a time when companies are seeking the next best thing, colleges can’t afford to take a step back. Putting restrictions on technology isn’t benefiting anyone.