Friday, May 1, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Studying with Technology

By Meghan Scarpiello

It’s that time of year again! With finals around the corner it is time for all the college kids to start studying and cramming a whole semesters worth of information into their brain in only a few days. Guaranteed, technology will play a role in both hurting and helping these students survive.

The tables in the library will be full of scattered notes, both written by hand and typed. The typed notes are obviously due to technology. Many students may even study their notes straight from their laptops. The computer, in my opinion, is one of the best  technology advances  to assist students with schoolwork. Not  just for reviewing clear notes, but also for accessing the Internet and typing the many papers that will be due.

The Internet is a great source for watching videos and answering any of the questions you may have. Can’t visualize how DNA is transcribed? Search for it on YouTube and watch a video of it being explained. Can’t remember what DNA stands for? Open a tab from Google and search for it; guaranteed the answer  will pop right up. The Internet is a quick way to help students answer questions they may have instead of wasting time searching through notes, textbooks, or even trying to get a hold of their professor. Using technology  could have students getting answers quickly and conveniently  rather than having to hunt professors down or waiting until office hours. Granted, old fashioned office hours are very beneficial, but the Internet is an excellent resource, as well. Students can also access their textbooks online rather than carrying so many heavy books. The fewer the books students, the more they preserve their backs. The Internet will save many students time when it comes to studying.

Not only will it save them time studying, but time writing papers as well. My mother always told me how lucky I was to be able to use Microsoft Word to write my papers instead of using a typewriter. Being able to make mistakes, correct them, do an automatic spell check  all on the computer is enormously easier than having to retype a paper because of a few mistakes. It is amazing to think about how much technology has advanced through the decades. I do not view my mother as being that old and knowing she had to use a typewriter in college is mind blowing. The computer has advanced so much in my lifetime that I cannot picture schoolwork without it. Even research papers nowadays have become much easier than in the past. My mother told me she had to go through books and newspapers and magazine in the library to find the information she needed. Now a days, just type it into Google Scholar and you have a handle of articles at your fingertips. If you have access to databases, then searching for articles is just as easy. This will save a lot of time and get you the best research possible from updated studies. Writing papers of all kinds has improved due to the use of computers.

These are the positive ways the computer has helped students, but there are also some negative ways. Students already have a lot of work around finals time, but trying to finish up other assignments and submit them, can pile up during this time due to procrastination. It is always a good idea for students to take breaks during studying so they do not exhaust their brain. However, a five or ten minute study break can turn into an hour  if students get overly distracted by social media websites.  Media sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,  can be accessed through ones laptop and this can easily waste precious study time. This will only add to the students stress and the need to cram more information. It will reflect in their grades and the student may not achieve the grade desired.  Even smartphones are pretty much handheld computers that have notifications, texting, games, and many other applications that can be a distraction and affect how students study. It will divert their focus and increase stress levels and poor grades will arise from it.

All this technology can benefit us and hurt us at the same time. We just need the self-control to be able to use it wisely.

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