• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

HAVISON: Professors should really reconsider no-technologies policies – The Cavalier Every day


Mar 16, 2023

For a generation of college students raised in the digital age, it usually comes as a surprise when professors establish no-technologies policies on the very first day of class. Professors help these policies by claiming that banning technologies reduces distractions and encourages handwritten notes, general top to far better retention of details. These bans extend to laptops, which some students with disabilities rely on for good results in class. Although no-technologies policies have great intentions behind them, they negatively effect students with disabilities by isolating them and adding to disability stigmas. 

Although some professors could argue that no-technologies policies are not necessarily damaging to students with disabilities for the reason that they can get permission to use technologies by filing an application with the Student Disability Access Center, we should really stay clear of isolating students with specific desires anytime probable. SDAC can give accommodations for typing notes and recording lectures, they can not alter the stigmas surrounding disability that could make a student really feel alienated in the classroom. For instance, if a student is making use of a laptop to take notes in a area of students not permitted to touch their laptops, that student could really feel singled out. The student could then really feel the will need to justify their laptop use to other individuals, which they should really not have to do unless they want to. Disability is a sensitive subject, and students should really not really feel pressured to justify their desires to their peers for the sake of a technologies ban.

Students with SDAC accommodations may well not only really feel singled out amongst their peers in no-technologies classes, but also could have uncomfortable interactions with professors. By supporting their no-technologies policies with claims that laptops lead to far more distractions and significantly less helpful notes, professors imply that students who will need laptops do not carry out to their requirements. When a professor expresses explicit distaste for laptops, it can be uncomfortable for a student to ask for their accommodation. Students should really not have to really feel like their desires are a burden, and implementing no-technologies policies does just that — developing a damaging studying atmosphere.

It is also crucial to look at that there are students who have disabilities but do not have accommodations. A student’s lack of accommodations could be for the reason that they locate the SDAC method difficult, they have a at present undiagnosed disability or they believed they would have far more freedom to use technologies in college. It is incorrect that a student who has in no way necessary technologies-associated accommodations can sign up for a class that interests them just to locate out that they essentially do will need an accommodation to carry out properly. Now, they have to fill out paperwork, get types signed by a treating provider and meet with an SDAC advisor to succeed in class. By the time they safe their accommodation, they could have currently fallen behind. 

Professors with no-technologies policies also overlook the added benefits of typed notes for each students with and without the need of disabilities. Possessing access to a laptop in class can aid students copy down details more quickly and have far more legible notes. Although terrible handwriting most likely does not qualify for SDAC accommodations, these note-taking desires additional show that technologies in the classroom has added benefits. Professors could argue that the added benefits of typed notes do not outweigh the price of possible on line districations, but that should really be the option of the student to make. In common, college should really be a time to develop and create independence. Students should really be permitted to exercising that independence by deciding on if handwritten or typed notes function far better for them.

Although there are lots of approaches no-technologies policies harm students,it is also significant to investigate the added benefits professors claim exist. An initial study showed handwriting to be the most effective strategy for notetaking, but a replication of the study could not create the exact same final results. The replicated study demonstrates that the conclusion that handwritten notes are far better than typed notes is “premature.” This study reflects that no-technologies policies are not as helpful as professors claim them to be. For a generation of students raised on laptops, it is crucial that far more research on handwritten notes are performed just before professors jump to technologies bans. 

No-technologies policies result in far more harm than they do great. Professors paternalistically banning technologies causes an array of unnecessary complications. I do not stand to say professors are intentionally engaging in discriminatory practices. Rather, I beg professors to reconsider the impact banning technologies from their classrooms has on students.

Mikayla Havison is a Viewpoint Writer who writes about University Life for The Cavalier Every day. She can be reached at opinion@cavalierdaily.com.

The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily these of The Cavalier Every day. Columns represent the views of the authors alone.