HAVISON: Teachers should reexamine no-technology regulations 2023

It frequently comes as a surprise to a generation of college students educated in the digital age when teachers implement no-technology regulations on the first day of class. Professors defend these regulations on the grounds that prohibiting technology lowers distractions and encourages handwritten notes, resulting in improved knowledge retention overall. These prohibitions include computers, which some kids with impairments rely on for academic performance. Despite the good intentions behind no-technology regulations, they have a detrimental impact on kids with disabilities by isolating them and contributing to disability stigmas.

Although some instructors may claim that no-technology regulations are not inherently damaging to students with disabilities because they may apply for permission to use technology through the Student Disability Access Center, we should avoid isolating individuals with special needs wherever feasible. Although SDAC can provide accommodations for typing notes and recording lectures, they cannot alter the stigmas associated with disability, which may cause a student to feel alone in the classroom. In a classroom where students are not permitted to touch their laptops, a student who uses a laptop to take notes may feel singled out. The student may feel compelled to explain their laptop use to others, which they should not be required to do unless they so choose. Disability is a difficult issue, and kids should not feel compelled to defend their requirements to their classmates in order to circumvent a technology prohibition.

Students with SDAC accommodations may not only feel alone among their peers in classes without technology, but they may also experience awkward encounters with lecturers. By defending their no-technology regulations with arguments that laptops cause more distractions and less effective notes, teachers indicate that students who require computers do not meet their standards of performance. When a professor professes strong dislike for laptops, it might be awkward for a student to request a laptop accommodation. Students should not be made to feel as though their requirements are a burden, yet the implementation of no-technology regulations creates a hostile learning atmosphere.

It is also crucial to acknowledge the existence of students with impairments who lack accommodations. A student’s lack of accommodations may be due to their difficulty with the SDAC procedure, an undiscovered handicap, or the belief that they would have more flexibility to utilize technology in college. It is inappropriate for a student who has never needed technology-related accommodations to enroll in a course in which they are interested only to discover that they require one in order to do successfully. To succeed in class, students must now complete out paperwork, have documents signed by a treating physician, and meet with an SDAC counselor. By the time they are able to find housing, they may have slipped behind.

Students with and without impairments are denied the benefits of written notes by professors with no-technology restrictions. Having access to a laptop in class can assist students in taking notes more quickly and legibly. While poor handwriting is unlikely to qualify for SDAC modifications, these note-taking requirements demonstrate the value of technology in the classroom. Instructors may argue that the advantages of written notes do not outweigh the disadvantages of potential internet complications, but the student should make this decision. In general, college should be a time of maturation and autonomous development. Pupils should have the freedom to choose whether handwritten or typed notes are more effective for them.

While there are several instances in which no-technology regulations are detrimental to students, it is equally essential to analyze the benefits professed by instructors. An original research indicated that handwriting was the best way for taking notes, but a subsequent study was unable to provide the same results. The replication of the study shows that the conclusion that handwritten notes are superior to typed notes is premature. This study indicates that no-technology regimes are not as advantageous as academicians assert. Before academics implement technological prohibitions, it is imperative that additional research be conducted on handwritten notes for a generation of students raised on computers.

No-technology policies are more detrimental than beneficial. Professors’ paternalistic bans on technology result in an array of unneeded complications. I cannot assert that academics willfully engage in discriminatory conduct. Instead, I implore educators to evaluate the impact that technological bans have on students.

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