Electronic Device or Not?

Some teachers forbid their students to use any electronic device in the class. I was in a such class. From the perspective of a student, I do think electronic device will decrease efficiency in class learning. It’s human nature that we are easily get distracted by any prominent external stimulus. Use of laptop and other electronic device drastically elevates the possibilities of occurrence of these distractions. So electronic device may have negative effects on learning. Meanwhile, in some class, teaching is a type of performance and the teacher may feel upset or frustrated when these careless audience don’t pay attention to his/her performance.

As an instructor, however, I never ask my student not to use laptop. Just like we did every time in GEDI class, use of electronic device is able to improve learning. The line between facilitating learning and hindering learning by electronic device is subtle, which depends on the methodology used in teaching. When comes to traditional lecture, as far as I am concerned, teacher is the center of the activities in the class and use of electronic device will threaten the central position of the teacher and become distractions of learning. Learner-centered class, on the other hand, encourage students to adopt their own ways to acquire knowledge and communicate with each other. Electronic device then become a powerful tool to enhance learning. To sum up, I don’t think we should give a conclusion about whether we should allow students to use electronic device or not. The most important consideration would be whether this helps students in their learning or not.