Students debate importance of owning laptops in college

Originally Posted on The Daily Cougar via UWIRE

Students and professors debate over whether owning personal laptops is important in college, and if it's possible to get by without one. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

Students and professors debate over whether owning personal laptops is important in college, and if it’s possible to get by without one. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

Anywhere you look on campus, you’re bound to find a study group gathering in a corner or maybe a lone, focusing student with headphones on, but no matter what kind of studying you see, there’s most likely going to be laptops present.

Devices on campus are seen as a necessity by many, but many students feel they must own a personal device to go about their daily schedule.

Mechanical engineering junior Cyrus Kazemifar owns a laptop on campus and said he thinks many of the students on campus have a laptop.

“You can rent the technology here at the library if you don’t have one, so I wouldn’t say that it’s an expectation that you bring your own,” Kazemifar said. 

Kazemifar said he mostly uses his device for homework but enjoys using it for his hobbies sometimes, like watching YouTube videos.

If he was just using a school desktop, he said he wouldn’t be able to use it for personal hobbies as often.

Nutrition junior Ishleem Gulati said she doesn’t have a laptop but has a mobile phone only.

“It can be difficult, in a way,” she said.

Gulati is classified as a junior and has never had a laptop on campus. She said if she needs to get something done at the Student Center, she can’t work in certain locations and has to go to the library or wherever there is computer access.

“I’m going to try and start using the school computers more often, but I come to the library twice a week,” Gulati said. “But some classes do expect some kind of device, but I think they are okay with phones as well.”

Gulati is taking an online class this semester, which she completes the work for on her desktop at home or off campus. She said the workload is fine, and she doesn’t have to do more than that.

“It can be easier, to have a laptop because you can work from any location, but at the same time it’s just another item to bring to class everyday, and remember to charge,” Gulati said. “I believe having a laptop or not having one could work both ways.”

Alana Hatley, who teaches English 1303 and advocates for the use of technology in some classes.

“English classes in particular are often treated as though all we need are books and paper,” Hatley said. “But the way we are approaching writing, reading and rhetoric in 2019 requires that we be able to look at images, look things up on the fly, and all that sort of thing.”

Hatley said many of the universities she had been a part of so far did a pretty good job of allowing access to laptops and other devices to students who need one but don’t own one.

At the library guest services or help desk, students can rent a laptop for a day if they need one to use around campus.

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Students debate importance of owning laptops in college” was originally posted on The Daily Cougar

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