The issue: Three editorial board members share their viewpoints on whether or not students should have their laptops in class.
Faculty and lecturers at UNC-Chapel Hill should discourage the use of laptops in classrooms unless the requirements for note-taking cannot be executed without a laptop. As academic facilitators, they rely on reaction from the class to ensure a healthy dialogue between teacher and student, and a student’s participation in class is often contingent upon their environment.
Simply, the most distracting environmental stimuli to most students are visual and aural, and laptops provide an easy-access visual distraction when there are databases of memes at your fingertips. These distractions can drag students into distant digital worlds and leave them oblivious to their surroundings.
While some students may have the discipline to keep themselves afloat, it seems that most students simply come up for air just to make their mandatory participation requirement and then disengage as they re-enter the depths of the internet.
Even if the class is too large to garner responses from every individual, research demonstrates decreased retention of material when comparing typed notes to hand-written notes. There is something inherently beneficial (and poetic) to putting pen to paper when it comes to encoding new information.