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As I have started my Pre-Student Teaching Observations, I’m noticing a lot of changes from the classroom since I was there. I graduated high school back in 2017 and haven’t been in a classroom since then, until now. Not only is there a difference because of the pandemic and social distancing, but there is also so much more technology in the classroom. Students now have their own school-issued laptops and even in the classroom, they are using their laptops. While we need to adapt to what is relevant and use the tools we have in our arsenal, is it effective to have students using laptops in the classroom? This question also pertains to the students in college as well.

With using technology in the classroom, it is useful to have your work all in one place. Students are less likely to lose worksheets if they are all in a folder on their computer. This also allows for students to be able to get worksheets in real-time from their teachers. On the other hand, there is the opportunity for distractions. Students’ social lives are pretty much only online because of the pandemic and everything is at our fingertips. When these devices are so readily available it’s easy to just switch the tab from Google Classroom to Instagram in a swipe of your hand. We aren’t always paying attention to the task at hand if we get lost down a rabbit hole of posts and articles. I’m not trying to point fingers though, I am susceptible to this as well when quarantine started, I would be playing video games while in my Zoom classes. 

Back when I was in high school, some of my teachers wouldn’t even allow students to take notes on a computer. Most things were done with pen and paper, except long essays and PowerPoint presentations, but as I learn about becoming a teacher there is an overhaul on how schools do things. You don’t use too many worksheets anymore because you can save a tree and send your students a PDF. They don’t need a 10-page packet to understand the parts of a cell. 

Brooke is an English education major at IUP and plans to graduate in spring 2022. Alongside Her Campus, she has also performed with the IUP Dance Theater and is part of the Kappa Delta Pi honors society and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
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