Laptops in Class: Disruptive or Productive?


Photo Credit: Stephanie Zhang

Laptops have become so integrated into school systems and education, that not using them seems impossible. However, the infinite distractions marketed to teenagers seems just as hard to avoid. This brings up the pressing question, should teachers allow laptops in class? How would they ensure the attention and responsibility of students?

Mr. Blickman, a World History teacher in the HPRESS Department commented, “Laptops are a crucial part of the class and lesson. Through online databases, so many helpful resources can be utilized. I am flexible with the usage of laptops because some students like to type notes, rather than hand write, and for several history projects, in-class usage of laptops have been very effective.”

Manisha Bakshi ‘21 said, “Laptops are extremely useful in class, unless students misuse them. I believe the most effective way to control the distractions of laptops is for teachers to allow the use of them for only a certain time period in class to work on a specific topic, and not let students openly have laptops on the whole class period. It really depends on the people using them.”

Margot Korites ‘21 agreed with Manisha’s statement. “The advantages of laptop usage clearly outweigh the disadvantages. My laptop has definitely distracted me from class, my fellow classmates too, but obviously the work done on a laptop is immensely beneficial.”

Especially in this day and age, removing laptops from a classroom setting would be catastrophic and would hinder students abilities to self-learn and be responsible workers in class.

Unfortunately, having all responsible laptop users is hard to achieve. I’ve seen many students distracted on their laptops; using social media, online shopping, watching youtube videos, gaming, the possibilities online are endless. Too many distractions inhabit the technical world we live in. I, myself, get distracted when lectures get boring, turning to my laptop for better entertainment.

Nevertheless, laptops are crucial to our academic develop, with more educational tools and information put online everyday.

I took a poll in my history class regarding the allowance of laptops, and the class unanimously agreed that teachers should allow them in class. Alexander Krause ‘20 mentioned, “We should allow phones in class too,” although, phone usage in class is a different issue to be discussed.

It is clear that without laptops, learning experiences would not be the same; the level of our work degraded. To answer the question, laptops are both disruptive and productive, but as Margot said, “The benefits clearly win.”

Written by: Stephanie Zhang ’21 (Web Staff Writer)