“Please Put Your Laptops Away”

“Please put your laptops and phones away” is always the most unwanted sentence when it comes to students. Its either the irritation they know is coming, because “duh” this is the class period or angered because they are unable to check and work on what they wish. Why is there such debate among educators in the allowance or ban against device use in class? It has become extreme to the point of banning them at schools or taking points away from a student’s total grade from the teacher viewing their use during class. Hence, what is the fine line between the use and none use of devices, while keeping in mind student success and classroom participation. As the writer notifies that is difficult to limit distractions that cause students to draw their attention away from lecture, however focusing on removing distractions should not just be the job of the educator but for the student as well, as he states “time management is their job-not mine,” affirming students need to be held responsible for their own actions. Again, Shirky

In the era of the digital age and new technologies advancing, it is hard for students to stay attentive to a 50- minute class period without checking their phone. This is an issue that I not only hear from my instructors but I see as well with my own students. In the digital era with numerous social platforms and technologies have led the new millennial generation to become active multi-taskers, with positive and negative effects. In terms of positive effects, employers seek individuals who are able to perform a variety of task and projects. Additionally, students are able to switch back and forth their searches and conversations productively. Although, with much scrutiny at times multi-tasking can be much to bare and a relief if needed at times is welcomed or unwelcomed. Shirky addresses this within his work by asserting that “multi-tasking is cognitively exhausting- when we do it by choice, being asked to stop can come as a welcome change,” thusly he has created a “banned unless required” rule on technology devices.

In addition, negative long- term effects of technology develop issues with “declarative memory,” meaning information goes in one ear and out the other, rather than remain for the long-term. The idea of over-consumption, however employers are looking for individuals to multitask, hence where does the line get drawn between its overuse for education purposes and its usefulness in the workforce. Laptops, tablets, and phones all cause serious symptoms for distraction and strain to remain focus. Even if we think we are intoned there is still disengagement between the task at hand and the content being process through the applied work on the device. Social media as the creator notes is acutely effective for distraction due to its implications involving emotional engagement and social information immediacy. Which then establishes a difficult intellect level to switch between one’s social media platform (liking a funny meme) and the education required to process, let’s say, three components of cultivation and its effect on violence in video games among young adolescents. Furthermore, update statuses equally cause immediate alertness that is hard to resist when awaiting a response. Shirky details Haidt’s description of the elephant and the rider, in comparison to students and media use in class. Instead of assuming a majority of students not wanting to pay attention in class, rather observe the struggle students compete with to try and pay attention to class. On the other hand, Shirky realizes that hardware and software is being professionally designed to be distracting. After all it is a consumer business and without engrossment of the product, than it is not serving its purpose.

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