Fall 2016 - Professor Kate Poirier

[HW#3/ Note Taking as Stenography]

This article by Jay Sterling Silver (Law professor at St Thomas University School of Law) “Note taking as stenography” from Inside Highered is about why laptops are prohibited in classrooms. The author focuses on notes taking in class by students using laptops and how that affect their learning process. The author talked about the MIT research that went against using laptops in classrooms, He said “The institute of technology finding that students-unable to resists the sirens of the internet during class performed better when laptops were not permitted in the classrooms” At first, professor Jay supports using laptops in classrooms witch is against the MIT research, he thought that laptops will accelerate the notes taking and the learning process of students. But then by experience, he found out that students don’t remember their notes, instead they just write them in their laptops.

I have picked this article because now days laptops and tablets are this current generation most used devices, and of course educators are debating weather to use them or not. Education have gone digital. Now colleges and universities are offering online courses, in addition most of the schools expect all the students to have some sort of a similar device. But the issue is it this technology is beneficial or not in the learning process and this article have a good point about that matter.

I agree with the author and the MIT research about prohibiting laptops in the classrooms, because laptops can be distraction to students. Everyone admit that laptops are effective when it comes to taking notes, they are easy to save access and reviewed, students can type almost everything the teacher say. But the problem is laptops most of the time prevent students from paying attention due to increasingly of social media. In addition, Students don’t usually think about what they type, according to the Author “My best Guess is that today students keyboard skills are sufficient to allow them to mindlessly record what’s said in the class, like a secretary too hurried taking dictation to think about what’s actually been said.”  When I first started college, I debated whether I buy a laptop so I can bring it to class and take notes. But After I asked many of my classmates, I came up to a conclusion that laptop can be a distraction in class. I know that I am on the social media most of the time like everyone else. In addition, a lot of the time when I try to type something in the computer (psychology lab in a psychology class last semester as an example) I always miss what professor says next because my mind is too busy looking and typing in the keyboard”.

So in my opinion I think that laptops can be useful in classroom only if students will work on a software like Maple Geoggebra or programing like in computer science. And right now most of the classrooms that requires that software’s have computers so I don’t think students should bring laptops to classrooms.


  1. Kate Poirier

    Sounds like an interesting article, Majid! Where and when did it appear? The title rings a bell…I may well have seen this appear in my own Facebook feed and then scrolled right past it instead of reading it!

    • abdelmajid

      This article appeared on Inside Higher Ed website in August 19 2016, I have cited the sources and posted it as a comment on HM#7

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