For as long as I can remember, there has always been technology in the classroom whether it is through smart boards or desktops; there has forever been some sort of technology present in our learning. Over the years, technology has rapidly advanced to the point where it is hard to function without it.
Last year, our school adopted a 1: 1 program in which each student receives their own laptop for the entire school year. Many argue that these laptops are helping us due to the fact that now, no student has the excuse to say, “ Oh, my printer wasn’t working,” or “ I don’t have that program because I don’t have a Mac.” Now, because each student is equipped with their own personal MacBook Air, there are no more excuses when it comes to online work or missing assignments. Yes, this is indeed helpful to anyone who doesn’t have a computer at home; but how many people do you know in today’s day and age that do not have their own devices. Personally, I believe that this one to one program is hurting this school and schools in the surrounding area including its students for many reasons. For starters, to buy each student a laptop is a complete and utter waste of money.
This school cannot even pay for tissues, yet we are buying 1, 000 or more top of the line laptops. To be honest, that really does not make sense to me or any other student or faculty member you may ask. When asking a teachers’ opinion on the new use of laptops, nine times out of ten they would say it is negatively affecting our school, community, and budget. This is because I, a student who has a computer at home, would much rather have tissues and air-conditioning/ heating that actually works. These laptops have actually been proven to hinder our grades because of an increased lack of focus in the classroom. At the end of the school year there was a boom in the amount of grades dropping in our high school because at that point, no one seemed to engage themselves in the lesson and instead were fooling around on laptops.
A large portion of the decrease is due to students’ ability to play games, go onFacebook, and watchNetflixall without a teacher ever realizing. Backpacks are already loaded up to full capacity as it is, then adding a 5 pound case with all the bells and whistles attached can really mess with students’ backs. For kids with scoliosis like myself, those extra couple of pounds can be detrimental to the development of my already curved spine. Not to mention the fact that we are required to bring these laptops with us wherever we go.
So even if I wanted to give my back a break, I would not be able to because that would mean being, “ unprepared.” The controversy between laptops helping or hindering us is a long established argument that will always be contemplated. For some, these laptops are a miracle, but for others like myself, they are a nuisance and should be done away with. It’s not that I don’t love technology, because I do, but in school we should focus on learning rather than see the next episode of Breaking Bad. If every student decided that paying attention is much more important than beating level 100 on Octagon, then perhaps these laptops would be more beneficial to our learning.
But until then, I will continue to lug around an already heavy backpack with my shiny new laptop in it.