Use of technology in classrooms

With the wonderful increasing level of technology in our lives, we have once again had to revisit the ban on technology that we have in classrooms, and here is the reasoning behind why we forbid the use of laptops/tablets, cellphones and cameras in classrooms:

In favor of using technology in the classroom:

  1. I don't want to write with a pen/pencil

  2. It saves not having to go home and neaten up my notes

Personal motivation to use a pencil and paper, instead of technology:

  1. Computers do not like liquids spilled on them, and in a lab class, we often have computer unfriendly substances around.

  2. It is quicker to draw tables, drawings and write mathematical formulae using a pencil and paper

  3. Your hand writing will improve and mature, and you will appear better educated.

  4. Since today's software is so user-friendly, it's not really a sign that you are educated if you can use a cellphone, especially if you use grammatically impoverished text message short hand.

Classroom friendly reasons to not use technology in class:

  1. Cell phone calls in a lesson are a disruption to the entire class.

  2. Not all students have the mental discipline to resist playing with technology instead of participating in the lesson. We had some students play games with them, others text their friends, some get distracted with the other applications. The issue isn't whether you can play with it discretely under the table, but that you participate in the lesson.

  3. Pencils require less mental effort and do exactly what you want them to do, whereas computers require focused thought in order to "Table, Insert" followed by entering the number of rows and columns, specifying whether the first row is the heading, followed by dragging the object to fit, making the rows and columns the right size, making sure you have the right coloring to the table... A pencil requires less mental effort to use and so you are more attentive in class. You are less prone to get left behind as you wrestle with a drawing object that isn't doing what you want it to.

  4. If the rich students have tablets and cell phones, the not so rich students feel peer pressure to be cool.

For these reasons, we have decided that it is more educationally beneficial to put technology away when in class. You can always make use of technology outside of the classroom to write up reports later.