Use of Computers in Class and their Effects on Concentration and Performance of Students
In my opinion, using computers in class affects the levels of concentration among students, ultimately reflecting in their overall performance. Since the creation of electronics like tablets, computers and cell phones, a lot of students have been using it in classrooms . Electronic communication does have many advantages like socializing. Students cannot possibly be bored in the classrooms if they have cell services, Facebook accounts and other social media platforms. They will tend to communicate and share a lot of information with their fellow students, sometimes even holding discussion groups. Students can inquire about information and share learning materials with other individuals, irrespective of their geographical location. However, using computers in class can have numerous downsides. Studies have indicated that great minds are developed by the ability of individuals to think reflectively and deeply, while in a position to focus without distractions. When using electronics, it is not possible for students to achieve any of these things. Using computers in classrooms affect the ability of students to think and focus, ending up in holding only minimal concentration, which affects their grades negatively (Kraushaar and Novak 243). Computers should not be used in classes since they can affect working concentration and the performance of students.
Effects of Multitasking and Concentration
One of the reasons behind disallowing the use of computers is that it causes multitasking which is often associated with the inability to focus. Scholars have supported this argument, stating that the rapid switching of focus has very high chances of lowering the level of concentration and focus of students (Kraushaar and Novak 243). Students are liable to attend incoming phone calls while learning, reading emails and other information received from social media, affecting their ability to focus, behave and think effectively. These intermittent bursts of information can counteract with the ability of students to think deeply. The ability to focus in the classroom is of paramount importance. It is among the major factors that are directly linked to academic performance . For instance, a student can be distracted when listening to a teacher by either a phone ringtone or an email alert tone. If students are distracted while listening to their lecturers in the classroom, such distraction will be reflected in their final grades.
Multitasking is also likely to affect the ability of students to be creative in class. They can fail to thinking deeply about the subjects in question and as a result, it affects their performance in a negative manner. Supporting minimal or the avoidance of computers in class can contribute significantly towards giving students a chance to develope new habits. For instance, they will lower the rate of using their electronics, giving themselves time to focus and think deeply. This will result in an increased ability to be creative, improving their performance in class. A study conducted by Kraushaar and Novak on multitasking indicates that involving students in a series of simultaneous activities like emailing, instant messaging and web surfing has an overall negative impacts on their scores (245). This effect would be non-existent when comparing students who can focus and think without trying to si8multaneously handle other tasks.
Many students use computers to search for information. For instance, they use search engines when doing research. Granted, they are able to obtain useful information in a blink of an eye. However, despite search engines being able to deliver a lot of information, they contribute to decreasing the attention span of students. Quite obviously, the level of intelligence of students cannot be measured by their ability to search for information, but by their ability to think deeply upon the obtained information. It can be argued that the capacity of any student to think deeply only improves in a situation where his or her mind is attentive and calm. The greater the levels of concentration, the richer their thoughts are likely to be simultaneously improving their ability to be creative. Creativity of students determine how successful they will be in class and in their future (Kraushaar and Novak 247).
When people are distracted by needless distractions, especially when they are listening, there is a higher chance that they will understand less, learn less and remember fewer pieces of information. The use of cellular phones and computers in class and search engines like Google increase the likelihood of getting distracted while trying to concentrate. These instance of technology bombard students with a lot of non-academic information, causing interruptions that break the train of their thoughts, making them scatterbrained. It is factual that people cannot enter a state of deep thought if they are carrying out other activities simultaneously. It can hence be argued that despite computers being used to supply students with a lot of useful information, they also encourage them to think in a superficial manner. This can make them think shallowly (Tapscott 94). In my opinion, it is advisable for the students to turn off their computers if they are interested in thinking deeply and developing their minds. This will improve their rate of concentration and their performance in class. It is possible for students to Google all the subjects they are searching on, but it is not possible for them to Google their way into being brilliant in class.
Inability to filter out Distractive Information
Another argument supporting the avoidance of computers in class is that people who heavily multitask experience a lot of challenges when they are trying to filter out irrelevant information on and off the computer. Avoiding computers in class will help students develop a new habit, filtering out irrelevant information successfully. They will as a result, be in a position to pay attention to topics relevant to the class. It is not easy for a person to read an email or receive any information from the computer and at the same time concentrate on discussed topics. Not using computers will help students filter out irrelevant non-academic topics and information received from their fellow students, increasing their ability to focus. They will be able to think deeply and reflectively improve upon their abilities, becoming better members of society in the future (Kraushaar and Novak 248).
Some people may support the fact that the Internet creates distractions, while also arguing that opportunities created by the use of computers in classroom outweigh the distraction. They might argue that technology can be used by students to inquire about a lot of information, helping them to become smarter as compared to those who do not use computers in the classroom. Studies indicate that people who use the Internet are likely to have greater brain activity when compared to nonusers (Tapscott 98). They go on to suggest that the Internet will contribute towards helping students think faster and in an improved manner. This argument supports that the frequent use of the internet helps improve upon the neural circuitry of the users. However, even if they experience growth in their neural circuitry, they are also likely to change a major characteristic of their brains, characteristics that were previously indicated to be unchangeable. They claim to be able to change the ability of a person to process a single stream of information at a time. The capacity to process a stream of information thoroughly helps people think deeply, which would be lacking while using computers in the classroom. Trying to establish change in the ability to handle a single flow of information at a time will prevent tudents from engaging deeply (Kraushaar and Novak 249).
They may also argue that computers increase the levels of motivation of students. They argue that the use of computers help students who used to be non-participatory members in the class to start fully engaging, contributing to the expression of their knowledge. While applying lessons in real life scenarios using computers, students could be motivated to learn various skills like typing, computation, the use of correct grammar and writing proper speeches. This results in increased productivity, and an engaged and motivated classroom. Some people would also argue that students will be willing to participate in class when using computers. Shy learners can be brought out of their shells through the use of technology. For instance, they can share their ideas with fellow students in a shared document or post them in an online discussion group. Their arguments do support that technology will help students who are members of an online discussion to obtain inputs from shy students. The confidence level of an introverted student would definitely be boosted when sharing his or her thoughts. They also argue that computers are likely to improve the social life of students, since they will interact with ease when they are editing an essay using tools like Google Docs or Drive (Tapscott 112).
Use of computers in a classroom is a new idea that can have many upsides. It can be used by students as a convenient tool for accessing information. However, many students use computers in class for more than just convenience. It distracts them with non-academic materials, diverting their concentration from class. This particular problem along with the ability to search for information with the click of a button can result in limiting their ability to think deeply. Their creativity will hence be affected as well as their ability to focus properly on topics in the classroom. For these reasons, I believe that the use of computers in class is likely to affect the performance of students. Students should not be allowed to use computers in the classroom This will ensure that they have a chance to develop the ability to use computers for convenience and not as a necessary tool.
Kraushaar, James M., and David C. Novak. “Examining the effects of student multitasking with laptops during the lecture.” Journal of Information Systems Education 21.2 (2010): 241-251. Print.
Tapscott, Don. Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world HC, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2008.