Laptop use should be encouraged in classes

Changing times call for a change in policy, WSU professors need to better integrate technology



As more digital tools are developed, people need to be able to use them effectively in order to compete in a world built around their use. Teachers need to recognize this and allow their presence more in classes.

LORIELL LOUANGAMATH, Evergreen columnist

In order to be successful, students need laptops at their convenience to know they are able to interact with the content they’re learning through the best possible means.

Many WSU professors unfortunately do not share this view.

I plan to go into the tech field and in order to do that you have to know how to navigate many computer programs. But knowing how to use a computer — as well as other technologies — should be common knowledge for all people, regardless of their intended field.

If you don’t practice and familiarize yourself with the computer processes of today, it will only be more difficult to learn these techniques as technology advances.

“Laptop usage in class can be beneficial with taking notes at a faster pace than writing,” said Gina Nguyen, sophomore kinesiology major at WSU, “and it’s organized.”

In some classes, professors encourage students to use pen and paper to take notes. It is more convenient, compact and practical to use a laptop for note-taking for a student living in a digital age.

These devices exist to advance the way we use and store information. Those resistant to adapting to new technologies are at a disadvantage for it. Students that study under professors with this mentality suffer more than any other.

Students at WSU have, at one point or another, each taken a class where it’s too hard to get everything in writing.

Using a laptop to take notes makes them more accurate and efficient, especially when the user is knowledgeable with programs like Google Documents and Microsoft Word.

Some professors don’t even allow laptops to be used in their classes due to the other potential distractions that come with the internet. Online shopping, playing online games or even working on other classwork in lecture can all create difficulties enough to restrict their use in a classroom.

But these professors need to understand that the benefits computers have to offer outweigh the distractions that come with them.

“When studying, it’s useful because you can hand-write your notes after you’ve typed it up,” Nguyen said.

Although the old pen and paper is handy and useful, the college environment is built more and more online. Everything from receiving and submitting material to communicating with peers is handled increasingly through platforms like Blackboard.

The technological proficiency of younger age groups is advancing. They are introduced to the tools they need at a much earlier time of development.

I have siblings, ages 4 and 9, already getting practice with smart devices in the classroom and at home. Schools use sites like to teach them about age appropriate topics and help them learn new subjects, according to an article by National Public Radio.

Even children learn to be more capable with digital tools, so it’s obvious as adults and students we should learn to use these tools just as effectively.

Professors should be more than willing to allow students to use their laptops and other devices in class. In addition, WSU should require more of these applications’ use by teachers and integrate the basics of multimedia and design programs into UCORE classes.

This is not only for the sake of ease and convenience of all, but for the students to learn tools important for future careers in a digital world.