Fightin’ Words: Does technology help or hurt us?

Does technology help or hurt us?

Katie Hammermaster
Katie Hammermaster


When instructors don’t allow students to use their laptops and cell phones in classes, they may be regulating a useful teaching tool.

Allowing laptops and other electronic gadgets in the classroom can actually supplement instruction. Curious students can research an interesting topic brought up during class time right as it’s being discussed. Not only does this allow for cross-referencing of information, but it broadens the student’s understanding of the topic.

Of course, plenty of students use their gadgets for distractions. Playing games and posting on social media detracts from any class information students retain.

It seems difficult to regulate the use of technology to keep the students from distracting themselves and others.

“I think we’re at the point where we can determine for ourselves whether it’s going to be helpful or not,” Megan McCullough, a Pierce College student, said.

McCullough noted that students who use their laptops and cell phones for non-class activities are going to be distracted with or without the available technology.

Those who want to learn should be allowed to use all the learning opportunities available, and not be held back by other students.

Technology, in many ways, is already implemented in the classroom. Professors use PowerPoint presentations for instruction and online programs for quiz, test and homework submission.

Pierce College student Colton Frost said he likes using technology to pull up assignments during his hybrid classes, instead of just games or the Internet.

“There’s not enough internet to play the games I like to play anyway,” Frost said.

Other students, however, agreed that technology can be distracting unless it’s a hybrid class.

The crux of the matter seems to be that diligent students who want to learn can benefit from their laptops and phones.

Good students use it in beneficial ways. Easily distracted students who will abuse the use of laptops and other gadgets – well, they’re probably going to be distracted either way.

Pierce student Andrew Schnitger said the technology is distracting for those for aren’t focused.

“Sometimes it’s distracting, but if you’re a good student, it really isn’t,” Schnitger said.

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Fightin’ Words: Does technology help or hurt us?

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