While parents may worry that laptops can distract students with social media sites and games, laptops can also provide advantages for students of all ages. Like desktop computers -- though with far more mobility -- laptops offer access to educational information on the Internet, tools to create professionally typed work and the opportunity to connect with instructors, peers and family.
One of the biggest benefits of laptop computers is Internet accessibility. Students can go online to conduct research in preparation for papers, projects and presentations. For example, a student can use her laptop to look up a newspaper or magazine article for a research paper. Or, a student can research examples of successful college admission essays or cover letters as a model for their own work. Laptops bring the global community of libraries, advice and strategies to students' fingertips.
The process of taking notes, whether in response to a lecture or a reading, can be far easier if a student has a laptop. Massey University points out that taking notes on a computer allows students be more organized in that they can easily insert details in the middle of a text and can search for and identify a specific item in just a few seconds. Digital note-taking can also be more secure because students can back up their notes on a separate drive or remotely, whereas papers can be misplaced or destroyed. Laptops also allow students to more easily take collaborative notes, allowing simultaneous collective access to a single document.
Writing and Revising
For most students from middle school through college, assignments are required to be submitted as typed documents. A laptop allows students to compose texts such as essays, job and scholarship applications, and cover letters in a more professional manner. With a laptop in particular, students can begin their assignment in one location, such as the classroom, and continue it somewhere else, such as at home. Laptops also make revision far less time consuming, as students can just alter their original document rather than rewriting it entirely.
Often students are expected to complete group projects. Laptops are a useful tool to allow students to communicate through email, instant messaging or discussion forums. Using any available Internet connection, students with laptops can consult their schoolmates on assignments, no matter where they are located. They can also stay connected with instructors to ask questions and submit work. For college students who leave home, laptops provide the opportunity to contact their family through video chat programs and email.
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