Point/Counterpoint | Should laptops be allowed in the classroom?

Opinion writers Naomi Rivera Morales and Gabriel Arboleda debate whether laptops should be allowed in University of Iowa classrooms.

February 7, 2023


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.

Laptops should be allowed in classrooms.

Quick notetaking in a university atmosphere is crucial. When it comes to gathering needed materials for someone’s studies, students are better off bringing a laptop to class rather than handwriting their notes.

You are more likely to miss important points during a lesson when handwriting your notes. This often leads students to moments of stress because they are not able to gather what they need in a timely manner. With these worries in mind, the lesson often fades into the background.

By typing your notes, you can jot down what you need in a timely manner. If the notes are messy or out of order in the beginning, the editing process is quick and easy.

In previous years, I have gone through several instances where my handwriting had been too messy to read after class. This often led to an inadequate amount of information for my studies.

Taking notes by laptop also allows students to easily store and access notes. There is no need to worry about bringing the wrong notebook to class or losing it along with pens or any other writing utensil.

Once a student’s notes are taken, they will have the opportunity to go back and easily look them over. They will then be able to exercise their memory by pulling out a notebook at home and writing what they remember from their notes. This process can be repeated until the information is fully retained.

Being able to gather and take the notes that you need is an important first step in one’s studies. If a student is too busy worrying about jotting everything down, it can jeopardize their performance in the classroom and during their study hours.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.

Laptops should not be opened during class unless advised by the professor.

Although necessary for homework, communication, and research, laptops in the classroom serve as a distraction to the student and those around them.

When a professor is giving a lecture, it is important for students to listen. An open laptop can make it difficult for a student to fully understand the curriculum.

A laptop offers multiple outlets that can redirect the student’s attention away from the class that is going on around them. With the multitude of applications and options that are offered, there are so many ways that a student can be distracted. A few outlets include search engines, videos, emails, streaming services, games, shopping, and other work unrelated to the class.

Aside from distracting the individual student who decided to pull up their own laptop, students around them can also have their attention redirected to the activity on the screen. Attention can be redirected by an image on the screen that greatly contrasts with what can be seen around it. Things such as movement and brightness can cause any number of students behind the screen to be distracted.

Laptops should be used as a tool to improve learning activities and communication. Thus, it is important for the student to know when and where they should be utilized and what they are utilizing them for.

As a student, it is important to keep in mind that the classroom is a space where people go to learn and listen. We must recognize that an open laptop in a classroom can hinder the listening and learning process.

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