Stow away the electronics, people

Students often complain about electronics policies, but these can offer meaningful benefits.

by Maddie Eaton

Lately I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of my professors who have decided to include electronics policies in their syllabi. Depending on the course, these policies might enforce anything from restricted usage to a flat-out prohibition of both mobile devices and laptops during class.
While punishments for breaking these rules vary, professors don’t usually take offenses lightly, and they often call out students for violating what’s mentioned in the syllabus.
This irritates many of my classmates, but there are a few reasons why I think banning electronic devices makes complete sense. First, these devices serve as a distractions. Not only do they decrease the productivity of their individual users, but they also tend to divert the attention of others in the class. 
Second, I think there’s a lot to be said for handwritten notes. It’s true I sometimes choose to take notes on my laptop due to convenience, but I feel I retain more information when I write them by hand. 
In addition, I am much less likely to become distracted when I take notes on paper. Often, when using my laptop in class, I find myself doing everything except schoolwork.
Whether I’m surfing the web or writing a blog post, you can bet that I’m not taking notes or looking up something related to class — and my professors can bet so, too. 
Even though electronic policies may seem like an inconvenience, just remember that we’re paying a whole lot of money to attend this school. Why waste it? By putting away our electronics, we can increase productivity and prevent the allure of mobile devices and laptops from distracting both ourselves and others. 
Maddie Eaton welcomes comments at [email protected].