Students should have options for notetaking

Sept. 16, 2013

Serena A. Ahmad
sahmad@uccs.edu

Technology has become a dominant force in our lives. Computers are quickly replacing paper and pens as the quickest form of note-taking. Mobile phones have also come into the equation.

Though some professors are swimming with the tide, others think computers are only distractions, not gateways to the future.

Professors ought to welcome them as a way for students to take their notes and review. It is the student’s job to study and get good grades.

Different students have different note-taking preferences, and as long as they get the grade, it doesn’t matter how they take notes.

The perception is that all students are using computers to tweet or update their Facebook statuses with silly things the teachers say. To be honest, most of the students are actually more focused.

A 2006 study by Carrie Fried of Winona State University concluded that students who are allowed to use their laptops for notes and still have access to the Internet are barely distracted.

In fact, the study states students only spent about 25 percent of their time performing activities unrelated to class.

Regardless of how students spend their time on computers, UCCS does not ban them inside classrooms.

The UCCS Student Code of Conduct Policies fails to mention using personal laptops, or any technological devices for that matter, in regards to note-taking in class.

In fact, most codes of conduct do not even have the word “computer” in them. Since there is no solid evidence students are constantly using social media instead of taking notes on their laptops, there is no real reason that students should not be allowed to use what they are best at using.

It is ridiculous that teachers who call themselves “modern” ban students from using their most favored method of note-taking.

This is a hindrance to students’ education. If a student’s preference is to write, let them write. If a student’s preference is to take notes on a laptop, let them use their laptop.

This debate seems never-ending. The trend does seem to be heading toward electronic note-taking, however. Eventually, notes may simply automatically be on cloud storage.

Ultimately, the decision of how to take notes should be left up to the students.