It is normal for students at UNC Charlotte to bring laptops, smartphones and other devices to their classes, but recently, various lecture halls and rooms at UNCC have become more technologically advanced. Computers are provided for every student at their desk, televisions/projectors circle the entire room and students are encouraged to use the technology they have available to them.
Technology provides endless information for us, so this may seem like a great idea. After all, the classroom is the place where we learn the most. The technology does provide information, but it also provides a distraction for students.
The classrooms at UNCC with the most technology are called Technology Enhanced Classrooms (TEC). They provide document cameras, projectors, laptops at each desk, televisions and more in the classroom for professors to use. This endless technology can give easy access to information, but also creates an environment that may be hard for students to learn in.
Classroom technology is not meant to be the teacher, but rather the actual professor who has become knowledgeable in the subject of the class. Technology might make fewer mistakes than a professor, but it gives students a reason to check their Facebook account or play solitaire instead of paying attention.
The Internet is a vast source of information, which I encourage professors to use. Of course, professors do not know everything, so having technology is a plus in the classroom. Using it too much, though, simply leads to distraction.
Technology can become increasingly distracting for students with disabilities that cause them to be more easily distracted. Thus, it is an unfair disadvantage for them to be in such a distracting environment.
I have taken both traditional classes and more technologically advanced classes, and I can honestly say that I learned the most in the traditional classrooms. I was able to focus more on the professor and taking notes, rather than be distracted by my email or Twitter account.
In the classes with the most technology, I observed students listening to music, doing other assignments and browsing their Twitter feed throughout the entire of class. I do not find them completely at fault, though – even I have done this. It is mostly because the distraction of technology provides an easy way out of listening to a “boring” lecture.
Without the technological distractions, students can focus on the professor and material for the class. I am a strong advocate for traditional classroom settings because even though I love technology, it leads to less studying and actual learning in classes.