The pros and cons of tech in the classroom

Jordyn Didier, Fishers High School | July 20, 2011

The scratching of pencil on paper echoing through the classroom does not exist as much anymore. Instead when someone walks into a classroom what they hear is the echoes of tapping on keys as students type away on their laptops.

As technology advances, there are schools that have chosen to allow their students to use devices such as laptops during their classes. Schools may also choose to allow laptop use, but not any other personal devices such as cell phones and iPods.

“My school does allow using personal devices, but only if it’s being used for class. I can carry around my camera for publications or students can use laptops for taking notes, but we aren’t allowed to use our phones since they aren’t relevant to classes in anyway,” said Samantha Yadron from Lake Central High School in Saint John, Indiana.

Schools must consider all the pros and cons of allowing students to use their personal devices. The pros can include students being able to take notes faster. They can also take a few minutes to look up a word or find more information about something they may not understand right away, instead of having to interrupt the lecture to ask.

Cons of allowing electronics revolves around the possibilities of cheating by using a chat system, people stealing a classmate’s device, or students using social networking sites to avoid classwork.

“In my classes, students are able to have their cell phones out and the teachers normally don’t care as long as it doesn’t go off in class and cause distractions,” said biology major at Indiana University, Alex Smith.

If cell phones are allowed, schools worry about the distractions of texting. The worries that students will be checking their e-mail or  Facebook instead of paying attention to what is going on during class, among other distractions, is something that prevents the use of electronics in classroom settings.

“I think that they should be allowed everywhere except in a classroom. It could be a distraction in the classroom, but there is no reason that they should be banned outside the classroom. I feel like if they weren’t banned outside the classroom then they would be less likely to be taken advantage of in [that] setting,” said Michael Herron from Fishers High School in Indiana.