Enforce less screens in classrooms

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Editor-in-Chief

As technology continues to develop and be innovated, it becomes more and more prevalent in our lives. As it becomes more and more prevalent in our lives, it becomes more and more prevalent in places that it shouldn’t. Sometimes it is culturally agreed upon that technology use is inappropriate for a location, like going on your phone during a funeral. But one place where technology use has been normalized is a place that it should not be – the classroom.


In almost all of my classes, most students “take notes” on their laptops. What this really amounts to is scrolling social media, sending emails, doing work for other classes, the list goes on and on. I’ve seen students playing games, and even once saw someone watching the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2”. Why someone would want to watch that movie with the sound on and subtitles makes no sense to me, especially considering the high quality of that movie’s score, soundtrack, and audio mixing is beside me, but that’s also beside the point.


I never thought about the prevalence of laptops in the classroom, until this semester. One of my professors, on the first day, told everyone that the classroom would be a screen free room, aside from the projector. He pointed out that extensive studies have shown that not only are screens distracting to individual students, but that they are distracting to the entire classroom. 


This changed how I view screens in the classroom permanently. Looking back, I realize how distracting laptops are. Hearing the constant clicking and clacking of dozens of people typing is already an unnecessary stimulation, but multiple streams of light in front of you is even worse. 


On top of that, seeing things on screens that aren’t related to the class will break your frustration. I could never recall the subject matter of the lecture the day that I saw someone watching “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2,” but I will never forget as long as I live that someone was watching “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.” 


Now, on one hand, it is absolutely hilarious and one of the funniest things I have ever observed in my entire life – he was watching “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” with the sound off! It raises so many questions in my mind: had he seen the movie before? Was he just putting it on for something cool to look at? Does he do this all the time, or was this a one time thing while he was bored in class? Has he watched the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe like this? Have other people? How many people have watched entire movies and tv shows with the sound off in class, a class that they are paying a lot of money to be in and others would kill for the opportunity to be in?


Therein lies my issue with screens in the classroom, as well as general distractions. College is very expensive. We are all paying a lot of money to be here, and just because you do not want to be here does not mean that everyone in your class does not. So I ask, please reconsider your screen usage in the classroom.