The number of professors banning laptops from the classroom is rising steadily. Although it was not previously a problem, in recent years it has come to the attention of many professors that students who bring their laptops to class often get distracted and distract other students. Professor of Communication Studies Derrick Rosenior recently changed his laptop policy to avoid distractions such as these.
“I stopped allowing laptops in class because even though I had asked students not to browse websites such as Facebook during class, and had also stated that in my syllabus, students were still doing it,” Rosenior said.
Rosenior’s policy used to have the stipulation that, although they could bring laptops, students could be asked to leave their laptops in their rooms if they were caught doing something other than taking notes.
“It still did not deter them,” Rosenior said.
For this reason, he disallowed all laptops from his classes.
Religion Department Professor Greg Austring, on the other hand, continues to allow laptops in his classroom.
“I don’t want to be a policeman. I’m giving it a chance and seeing if people will follow certain conditions. It may get to the point where I won’t allow it, but I hope that people will be responsible,” Austring said.
Although he still allows this technology, he is in support of those who do not. Many students use their computers for Facebook or games during class.
“The question is: do you [Facebook users in class] think you’re fooling me?” Austring said.
On the other hand, Austring finds that computers can be very helpful in class, albeit with the teacher’s approval and guidance.
“If I need some important information that I can’t remember, I can just ask a student to Google it,” Austring said.
Junior transfer Cesar Gonzalez noticed a difference in Vanguard’s policy as opposed to Golden West College where he previously attended.
“I would say about four out of five classes allowed laptops as opposed to two out of five here,” Gonzalez said.
Professors are making decisions about laptop use, although many have not yet instilled the laptop ban.
Sophomore Jenna Iguchi does not believe the learning experience would be affected if laptops become universally banned.
“In some classes, it’s beneficial, but in some classes it is a distraction. However, it’s the student’s choice whether or not they want to bring their laptop and either use it wisely or waste the money they spend for that class by being distracting,” Iguchi said.
Although there may come a time when all professors take a no-laptop stance, for now they suggest that if students do bring laptops to class, they should use them appropriately to avoid ultimatums.