Last fall I got a lot of questions on my tours about bringing computers/tablets/etc. to campus and what you really needed electronically to succeed at UB. I thought I’d share my opinion on the matter since I spend anywhere between five and twelve hours on campus a day, generally doing computer related tasks.
Computers in Class
Don’t do it! Carole Emberton, who was recognized last semester in the Spectrum in the top 10 professors at UB, who has the best laptop policy I’ve seen. I’ve taken two of her introductory classes and she always sets aside a few minutes to talk about her policy. Typing notes on a laptop may be nice if you have handwriting that looks more like cave man carvings that actual human being cursive, but you miss out on storing the information in your long term memory. When you write notes on paper you remember more! She also adds that laptops are really distracting for students around you who are drawn into your current game of World of Warcraft, Facebook chatting, or online shopping. She doesn’t completely ban it though, because we all have different learning styles. In her class if you feel strongly about it, you just have to sit in the first two rows.
Computers during Breaks
This is the only time that I bring my laptop to school. Once in a great while I’ll have time between classes to catch up on my hulu or redbox “to watch” list. I’m a big TV junkie, I probably spend between 15 and 25 hours a week watching tv. It’s a hobby of mine and a great way to unwind. My thought on this is, if you have more than thirty minutes at school to watch TV, you could probably be doing something more productive. Working part time, volunteering, doing homework, seeing professors during office hours, responding to email, the list goes on and on.
Computers for homework
With Capen Library open 24/7 there’s no reason not to do homework on campus. I love it because Lockwood Cybrary, my preferred cybrary is cozy warm, the chairs are nice, it’s usually quiet, (except between classes) what more could you want? My advice is to buy a three flashdrives instead of a laptop. One in case it gets full, one in case it gets lost, and one as a backup. See you’re completely covered!