Laptops and Attention

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The Laptop Ate My Attention Span (Reflection)
After reading this short article on the effects of technology (laptops) in the modern Graduate School classroom I gave myself a chance to reflect on my experience with this subject throughout my life. I found it really interesting that people are really having such a hard time with keeping focused in school due to all of the options a laptop gives to let the mind wander. Social media sites, chat-rooms, and emails seem to be a problem for these graduate students.

I must say that I refuse to bring a laptop to class as an undergraduate student for that exact reason. I know that I would give in to the temptation of the instructor not being able to maintain a visual on what I am doing. I could be typing away like a madman, giving the appearance of note-taking, and be completely absorbed in writing a letter to my buddy sitting right beside me about how boring the class is or how great the party was the previous weekend. I also know that I fall prey to the social media mega-site, “Facebook.”

Unlimited access to these types of things in the classroom has to be devastating to a positive learning experience. There is no way, and quite especially for a graduate student, for real learning to occur when you are absorbed in seeing what your girlfriends new pictures look like. I speak for myself when I say it would be impossible to stay off sites like that in the classroom, no matter the level of self control I believe I may have.

The largest drawback to this problem is that there really is no fix for it. I don’t believe it would be fair for a teacher to be able to control internet access, although they could forbid laptops in the classroom. This would really cause problems for many people taking classes that really require computer use of some sort; but one has to wonder, how did our collegiate predecessors manage to take these same courses 50 years ago without this technology?

What fix could we possibly come up with...
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