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Technology is amazing, isn't it? In a matter of decades, we go from computers the size of rooms to ones that fit inside our rooms. Now, we can put computers on our laps and type emails, surf the Web or do homework.
And since we can do homework with them, wouldn't it make sense to take our laptops to school? Turns out, that's actually a controversial idea. Both sides have their reasons for and against, and they both put up a good argument.
Some schools have rules about laptop use. For example, Centennial Junior High actually gives every one of its students a laptop at the beginning of the year, and all the textbooks are downloaded onto it.
Taylor Durtschi, a NUAMES junior who has a little brother at Centennial, says, "It's good because their textbooks are online so they don't have to worry about forgetting their books in their lockers."
On the other end of the spectrum, some high schools ban kids from bringing laptops to school, saying it will detract from the learning environment.
But teens also have their own thoughts on bringing their laptops.
Alex Gerritsen, a senior at DaVinci Academy, says he likes to bring his laptop to school because "it's moveable and less bulky."
Hunter Poe, a Clearfield High senior, has another angle.
"It allows me to be more productive in class because I can move thoughts from my head to 'paper' faster, and also because there are many classes in which a laptop is a necessity or a great help," Poe says.
Notes in a hurry
With a laptop, "I can write faster and neater than I can by hand," says Mason Dewsnup, a junior from NUAMES, adding that he likes using Google Chrome on his laptop, instead of Internet Explorer on the majority of school computers.
High schoolers use their laptops in a wide range of classes.
"I used to use my laptop in computer programming and I use it in ROTC staff management," Poe says.
Junior Todd Brown from NUAMES uses his at home for all his classes, but specifically, "history, psychology and Spanish."
"I use mine for all of them that I can," says Dewsnup, listing off FYE, U.S. government, English, history and engineering.
However, even high school students know when technology starts to become more of a bother than a benefit.
Dewsnup says laptops can get to the point of becoming a distraction because "sometimes you can get off task."
"I don't like always having to charge them," says Brittany Goddard, a NUAMES junior.
For Gerritsen, it's more of a privacy issue.
"People ... always want to see what you're doing," he says.
Durtschi adds, "You have to be careful that people don't throw your backpack (with the laptop in it)."
What's on Facebook?
Brown says that some of his teachers won't let him use his laptop because "they think you won't pay attention."
On the other hand, Poe and Gerritsen have never had this problem.
"I've talked to all of my teachers about it and none seem to mind," says Poe.
iPads are another example of technology that is slowly being accepted into school environments. At Clearfield High, junior Brett Loertscher talks about his iPad.
"I use it in all my classes as a planner and occasionally as a book reader," he says. "In my opinion, the use of technology such as laptops and iPads should be encouraged in schools ... learning to utilize them should be a crucial part of education in the 21st century."
No matter which side administration or students take, the common consensus has to be that laptops, tablets and e-readers are a huge advancement in technology. Some teens might "misuse them by playing" World of Warcraft or checking how many "likes" are on the latest Facebook status, but most kids utilize laptops to take neat, easy-to-update notes during class.
Lori Drake, a teacher and adviser for NUAMES and Weber State University, sums it up best.
"If you choose to take your laptop into class, be smart about it; don't be checking your Facebook when the teacher is lecturing behind you," Drake says.
TX. correspondents Katie Byrd, DaVinci Academy, and Kalli Damschen, Clearfield High, contributed to this story.
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Minna Wang is a junior at NUAMES. She loves to take pictures, go shopping and run. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.