Electronics: helping or hurting us?

IPhones+can+now+be+used+in+the+classroom+as+a+positive+study+tool+for+Bellarmine+students.+

IPhones can now be used in the classroom as a positive study tool for Bellarmine students.

Hannah Derby

Up until now, the Bellarmine campus has been a relatively electronics free zone for students. Having cell phones out anywhere on campus was known as a jugable offense. iPods were not allowed in any class, and laptops were only welcomed in the library.
However, this year the previous electronics policy has taken a drastic turn. Teachers encourage iPads in class, cell phones are allowed throughout a majority of the day, and some teachers are even allowing students to listen to their iPods to help them study. This new wave of technology was initiated to create a more advanced and enriched learning environment for students.
For many, this new wave has helped them in their studies. “I like being able to use electronics in class. It is an educational advantage”, said freshman Tara Hale, who uses her iPad in class to help her study. Junior Aleenah Ansari agrees, “If used judiciously we can learn more and it is a good educational tool.” For many Bellarmine students, the use of electronics in class is a wonderful improvement.
Although, not all agree that the changes have been positive. To some, the policy is somewhat inconsiderate. “I feel it’s slightly exclusive. I don’t have any smart devices. As a result my access to information hasn’t really changed.” said senior Caroline Baer. For those without iPhones or iPads to use in class, either nothing has changed or they may feel left out. Senior Bobby Froembling agrees, “It’s weird for people without iPhones or iPads. Plus, it would be a hassle for me to get one if I wanted one.”
Others still feel like the almost unlimited use of electronics can be too distracting. A valid argument, considering all the distractions electronics tempt us with these days, like the countless media sites and limitless internet use. Those are certainly more than enough to make students lose their focus. Some students are getting too distracted by their phones or other electronics and it is starting to show in their grades.
Our administrators put forth the acceptable use policy for a reason, but understand that temptations will occur, and hope to be able to control it. Cindy Davis, Dean of Students, states “The use of electronics in class is supposed to be for educational good. There is an appropriate time and an appropriate place for students to use electronics. In the future, these devices are going to be a big part of your college experience, so we are trying to prepare you for that.”
The general consensus of both students and faculty is that the policy is a change for the better. Under the watchful eye of teachers and administrators and the discipline of Bellarmine’s dedicated students, electronics have the potential to be a positive and beneficial addition to the classroom.