Are Laptops A Distraction In School? ~ Ask The Admin

Monday, September 03, 2007

Are Laptops A Distraction In School?

Class is in session, which means more work for me. Whenever it comes to getting my classwork done, and taking notes, my computer is an indefensible tool. I tend to have my laptop everywhere I go, and when I am in class taking notes, I have found nothing better than OpenOffice for note taking. It is free as opposed to certain commercial competitors, and it runs on nearly every modern operating system.

There are a few issues, and they aren't exactly technical problems. Whenever I can pickup the school's WiFi signal, I sometimes get too distracted talking to my friends on Pidgin (open source instant messenger, like Trillian), and surfing the web, notably Facebook. When it comes down to it, I am not sure if my laptop is more of a help or a hindrance as I am constantly distracted. That's why I usually end up turning off of my wireless card, and proceeding into my class.

Whatever the case, the computer is a good thing to have if you don't have the attention span of a monkey. Between all of the free tools you have at your disposal, from operating system (Kubuntu Linux is my choice) to the word processor (OpenOffice), to the organizer (Google Calendar), efficiency can be amped up a whole lot. These tools are useful for everyone, not just students, and I think that the benefits outweigh the risks.

What do you think?
Matt Parnell