Laptop use has become a common occurrence in most college level classes, and it’s even beginning to appear in high school classes. Here are some of the benefits of allowing and promoting the use of laptops during class to improve learning.
- Convenience for the students and instructors
Laptops not only offer a faster method of note taking, but also a more convenient method for integrating and storing these notes. Students can type much faster than they can write, so taking notes in a word processor can allow them to record more information at faster speeds, improving their studying capabilities and the amount of material they are able to learn from the course. Similarly, instructors can take advantage of this increased speed and convenience as they lead their classes, providing more information to the students, or spending more time reviewing the same information.
- Integration with PowerPoint presentations
Laptops also allow for easy integration with PowerPoint presentations and lectures, as many students are now able to download the PowerPoint document directly onto their laptop during class. This allows them to take notes on or near the document, and read fine print more easily than on a large screen. Taking notes on the slides also helps students organize their thoughts and questions based on where they are in the lecture; they can note any questions on the particular slide.
- Interactive learning with computer programs
Many instructors are now encouraging laptop usage during their classes, as it allows them to teach with new programs. They can hold tutorials to demonstrate how to use these programs, as well as implement in-class learning activities using these programs on the student laptops. This feature is incredibly helpful for math and science classes, as well as engineering classes, in which students will need to build or observe structures in three dimensions.
These advantages of laptop use during class can help students more fully take advantage of their education if they are able to avoid the common distractions associated with laptop use. Instructors can also benefit from laptops, as they can expand their lectures to include interactive technology.