“Why I Just Asked my Students to put their Laptops Away”

February 12th, 2018

I found Clay Shirky’s article to be utterly refreshing. As college students, we really are asked to be able to complete this and that all by a certain date. Most of us have a job or two, so finding the time to do something and do it will is not always possible. As he said, “multi-tasking is bad for the quality of cognitive work, and is especially punishing of the kind of cognitive work we ask of college students,” which proves my point.

With this technologically advanced world we live in, I understand that we have to use our technology. I also know that my generation learns better when professors don’t require us to sit down and read fifty pages of a textbook. Most of us can’t do it because our attention spans are nothing compared to what our parents possess. We are used to immediate satisfaction and keeping things short, so long lectures and readings don’t allow us to learn in the way that we need.

Something that is better will always come along, I know that whenever I feel my phone vibrate, or think that it did, I have to look at it right away. It almost eats at me until I do it. I can guarantee that any student that has a Macbook sits in a lecture and texts for half of the time, because it goes unnoticed. Most of us with PC’s know it’s obvious to have a phone out, so we don’t do it, out of respect I hope. My favorite quote of the whole article is, “It’s me and them working to create a classroom where the students who want to focus have the best shot at it, in a world increasingly hostile to that goal,” because if we are willing to put in the effort (which some students are not), we will be able to learn, and to learn well.

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