ITGS Syllabus

Monday, February 05, 2007

Topic 198

Hardware in the classroom: laptops, notebooks, teleconferencing by HeeJun

As the technology involving laptops improves, many people claim students should use laptops in the classroom to maximize the efficiency of studying. But many people, especially the elders, doubt that how the fact that every student has a laptop will change the way teachers teach and how students learn.

First of all, if every student has a laptop, it will be much easier to get resources from internet or intranet and to take a note. Each classroom in a school may provide fast internet service, a multimedia projector, printers and other equipment. Hence, it will be much easier for students to present their works.

The ones who support this plan claim laptops will replace traditional textbooks and exercise books. With the laptop, the students are able to access and process that make the difference. At the moment a student relies on those things physically in the classroom with them at that time: a teacher, textbook, and other students.

With a laptop, students have access to other teachers, other students, and a choice of different resources all available at times not constrained by classroom bells. Students may produce well-organized notes by using a word processor. Laptops can also be used as multimedia portfolios for the students' as producers. This is where the advantage of the laptop over the exercise book becomes clear. In addition, a laptop classroom prevents students from forgetting about most information they have learnt by the end of the year; a laptop allows the student to record in a transferable format.

Unlike the exercise book classroom, a laptop classroom resembles the multimedia 'real world' students inhabit and will be employed by when they leave school. Therefore, I think it is better for students to have laptops in the classroom.


Hardware in the classroom: laptops, notebooks, teleconferencing by Harsh

Laptops, notebooks, PDAs are revolutionizing the world. With today’s hi-tech generation, these things can be seen anywhere, even in classrooms. A survey conducted at four major colleges, like Harvard and Stanford, revealed that 85 percent of the undergraduates have laptops when they are not even required to have them. Laptops are convenient and useful. Although there is a social issue related with the use of Laptops in classrooms and that is, if the student is learning or gaming using his laptop.

The topic of my main article is that if a student has a laptop in the classroom, most probably he is not using it for learning purposes. But then the professors and the students argue that if the student didn’t want to learn in the first place, he wouldn’t come to the classroom. Study showed that if a student uses his laptop for a relatively longer time, then his grades are lower. Professors, therefore, ask the students using laptops to sit in the front row so the students behind them can check what they are doing.

If you use laptops in the classrooms as a student, then you are affected more by it than anyone else. Economically this is really good because a lot of laptops are being purchased by students which also means that the prices for laptops are going down and we can already see this happening, an Apple iBook only costs about $999. If a student’s grades go down, then who’s responsible – the student, the professor, or perhaps the laptop that you use in the classroom? It of course is the student.

The only advantages of laptops are “educational”, but that’s only valid when the students are using them for taking notes (since their typing is faster than handwriting) or researching more on the topic being discussed. But if the laptops are not being used for any of the purposes mentioned above, then the disadvantages range from ‘grades going down’ to addiction to computer technology. Therefore the main problem rising from the use of laptops is that students, instead of using laptops for educational purposes, might use laptops for surfing and chatting with friends back home.

The problem we are addressing here is that the laptops are being used for rather “entertainment” purposes than “educational” purposes in college classrooms. One of the solution was that the students with laptops should sit in the front rows so that students behind them can monitor what they are doing. In one case, a student visited pornography websites in the middle of the class n the girls behind him were really offended and they ended up telling the professor. These kind of cases discourage other people from using the laptops for “other purposes”.

Teleconferencing simply refers to a video conferencing through digital screens. This can be very useful because a Harvard professor can telecast his lecture to many other colleges and everyone can take notes! Or some other educated professor can talk about anthropology in America and students with their laptops can take notes in a Japanese classroom in Tokyo University! Teleconferencing has many advantages and the only disadvantage is its misuse. Students might start watching porn instead of watching a guy talk about supply and demand in some other nation!


Blogger SU said...

I will do this one

February 21, 2007 11:12 AM  

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