Secondary school students should be allowed laptops at school.
Debate Rounds (3)
Laptops are great for saving paper; a major issue in modern society, because as we all know, paper originates from trees. This property of laptops makes it easier and much more environmentally friendly to do things such as hand in a school assignment. Instead of taking the time to print out 20 pages of a science experiment report (this wastes a lot paper) and giving it to the teacher in person, students can simply send the assignment to the teacher electronically, who can read and mark it.
Laptops can also be used in order to replace textbooks with a PDF file of that textbook, which can be stored on a laptop (this happens at my high school and at many others). This will greatly benefit the student, because the load they need to carry around becomes much lighter, which will benefit their back.
First things first,
I would like to rebuttal some point that my opponent has said
1. Even if laptops are lighter than books, books are actually safer than laptops. Why? If they accidentally expose their laptops to water, then all of their assignment will be gone (usually if your laptop is broken because of water, you will lose all of your data even if your laptop is fixed) and not just for one subject but also for all subject since the students will save all of their assignment in their laptop. Whether organized or not is actually depend on the students itself; just because the student is using a laptop doesn't mean all of their notes is organized. They can store their notes in a folder full of other notes and then have trouble to find it again. Or they could accidentally delete their notes because they thought that notes is no longer useful because they just see the title without the content (I have personally experience this)
2. Even if laptops are great for saving paper, there is actually another way for saving paper: recycle. So students can use books that's made of recycled paper, because there is no way to stop the company who makes paper to making new paper. If the students are recycled papers, they are actually helping the environment. And even if we're assuming the students are using brand new papers, we all agree that the students aren't the only who use a lot of papers; i.e offices. That's why I think m y opponent has failed on explaining to us why this would really help our environment.
3. Actually a lot of school has locker, and that's why my opponent's argument is dead. Because with lockers the student can store their textbooks in their locker and only bring home some books that they might need for assignment or exam.
And so I would like to give my arguments
1. Not all parents have money to buy their children laptop. We all know that textbooks (at least at secondary school level) is a lot more cheaper than laptops. And it is unfair for the students whose parents can't buy them laptops. And why is it unfair and bring harms to them? Because they might envy their friend whose parents can afford laptops for them. And they might steal things, or do bad things to get laptops, to be equal to their friends. Secondary school students age is considered as teenager. And there a lot of cases where teenager steals because they want to be equal or envy their friends. Therefore I think allowing secondary students to bring laptop to school is actually bring more harm than good.
2. There are a lot of computer virus, and if the students stored all of their important school data to their laptops and suddenly their laptops is infected, it could delete all of their data. Or what if the students tried to hack to their teacher's computer to meddle with their scores since the teacher will now grade them with his or her computer or laptop.
3. It will cause the students to be lazy; now they could easily copy their friends' assignment since it's just a click away, or they could force one kid to type in the notes to their laptop and they could easily copy them. We know that in secondary schools there will always be bullies.
4. Most teacher specially the old ones aren't good with technology. And it is difficult for them to adjust from books to laptops, and it might cause some disturbance in studying since the teacher isn't used to laptops. So, it will bring harm to not just the students but also the teachers.
Therefore, I beg to oppose
I would like to expand on some of my arguments from round 1:
1. If somebody spills water on their laptop, then that is entirely their own fault. That sort of thing is extremely rare anyway, and students should always place their waterbottles away from their laptop (e.g. on the floor or in their bag). What you said about people not being organised is true, but laptops make it easier for people to be organised. It is easier to keep everything in a few computerised folders than taking the time to place many bundles of sheets in many real folders. Also, students can merely search the name up of the file they were using and it would appear up on the screen.
2. Students choose what sort of books they buy, and not all of them are going to buy recycled paper notebooks. And even if other sources also use paper, students using laptops will still save a lot (if you consider how many people are enrolled at a secondary school).
3. Not all schools have all lockers. My school does, but they are very small so you cannot fit that much stuff in it. Laptops can store so much more than lockers can, and you have all of your notes with you at once. You can take your laptop home, and choose what you want to study for tests/exams/assignments. Anyway, lockers can be broken into (this is actually extremely easy to do at my school) so people's things can easily be taken.
Now to my rebuttals:
1. Yes, not all parents do have the money to buy their children laptops. But this is not the only way to provide them with laptops: at my high school, students are given a laptop by the school when they first start at the school (if they damage/break it, the student has to pay). They then return the laptop to the school when they graduate/leave the school. Schools are funded by the government to obtain these laptops to give to students.
2. If there is a computer virus they can get it fixed at the IT office for free (this has happened to some of my friends). Viruses are very rare anyway, and also if you have a Macbook (which my school encourages) the chances of having a virus on your laptop are close to nothing. Teachers also write their grades down by hand before putting it into the computer and they give this gradebook to the administration, so the admin can check that all of the grades are correct.
3. For starters, if somebody copies someone else's assignment at all, they will be caught and will be disciplined. If the students are lazy, then do you really think it will make a difference if they have laptops or not? If they did not have laptops, they can still easily get their fellow students to write another assignment for them (these are bullies we are talking about after all). It is not the laptops which cause students to be lazy, but rather the students themselves.
4. Teachers are taught by the IT people as to how to use any necessary technology. And anyway, who said that the teachers need laptops? For example in my maths class, we all have the textbook as a PDF file on my macbook, while my teacher has a PDF file on his desktop (which he was taught how to use) and he also has a hardcopy of the textbook.
Now onto my arguments
1. In a world which is ruled by technology, students at a high school age should be allowed laptops to get them used to working on a computer on a very regular basis.
2. One thing which many people say is that school children will play games or do other things which are inappropriate (such as watch movies) if they have access to a laptop. I cannot deny this fact; it happens at my school all the time. But this should also be considered: not everybody at school is going to be doing inappropriate things on their computers: only the students who are not really motivated to learn will be using their laptops for inappropriate things at school. If they do not have laptops, do you really think that they will be learning more? Of course not. They will find other distractions, such as talking to their friends, and still not listen to the teacher. I have first hand experience with this: in one of my classes, we are allowed laptops, and all of the unmotivated kids play games while others listen to the teacher and do what they are told to. In another class, we are not allowed laptops, and the unmotivated kids still don"t listen to the teacher. Having laptops aren"t going to make a difference to whether a student is distracted or not.
3. It makes taking notes easier. People can choose whether to take notes by hand or by laptop, but a lot of people have a preference for taking notes on their laptop. People can type faster than they write, and this is very useful when the teacher is explaining things very quickly. It also guarantees that the writing is legible: sometimes, people who handwrite notes write so fast that they can't even read their writing, but if they use a laptop, they will always be able to read Times New Roman or Arial.
Teachers can also send notes online to us, which we can access easily with a laptop at school. This is especially useful if we are sick on a day.
Here we go,
1. It is not rare, if the students put their water bottle on the floor, they might accidentally kick it so they rarely put their water bottles on the floor. If they didn't close the water bottle tight enough, and they put their laptop and water bottle in their backpack, the laptop will still damaged. My point is there are a lot of possibilities, and we can't really avoid it. Don't for get about the possibilities of falling.
2. Even if the students can choose what kind of book they buy, the school make some rules about it. It is more acceptable for parents if the school ask the students to buy books made of recycled paper (which is cheaper than ordinary books) instead of forcing them to buy laptops (which is expensive, specially for middle to low class family)
3. Even if not all schools have locker, most school still do. Usually lockers are 12" wide and 12" or 15" deep, sometimes 18". It is enough to store 6 to 7 textbooks. And do you really think school who doesn't have money to build locker have enough money to buy laptops to lend to the students?
1. Not all country is rich enough to provide schools with laptops. Example, do you really think Zimbabwe have enough money to provide their schools with laptop when their people are starving? I think my opponent shouldn't narrow his/her rebuttal to some country only since he/she didn't set any limitation in the first round,
2. Even if the school provide IT office, what is lost is lost. And students usually realize the fact that their laptops have virus when it's all too late. Actually in Spain 69% of computers have at least infected by virus once, in Canada 68%, and USA 63% (source: statisa.com)
3. The laptops make students become lazier. Even if they copy their friend's assignment, they at least still write and still read it even a little, instead of just copy paste and change the name. I believe the teacher knows the student's handwriting so usually they copy their friend's assignment with their own hand.
4. It is still hard for them, as their eyes are old. We know how hard it is teaching our parents or grandparents how to use handphones right? Students who can afford laptops usually already have laptops or computers in their home, and I believe they use it in daily basis. So it is unnecessary for the school to forcing all students to buy laptop.
5. Well, since you've said it yourself. But let's think again, which one makes you easier to concentrate ? A laptop or a pencil and a textbook? There's just too much temptation if the students are allowed to bring laptops. If you are talking to your friends in the middle of class, your teacher will know and scold you, but if you're playing video games on your laptop how should the teacher know? There are 30 or more laptops in the class, that's why your example can't be applied.
And now to my arguments
1. Instead of buying 30 laptops or more for the students, school can buy just 3 or 4 laptops and only use it when necessary (ex. Presentation) and the students can bring flash disk to school (cheaper and lighter). It is the same with online notes you mentioned. Notes can be accessed at home, and you don't have to bring your laptop to school for this.
1.Students should be smart enough to realise that water and laptops do not mix, and should keep their water bottles away from their laptops. At the high school I have been at for one and a half years, nobody in my year group has ever spilled water on their laptop. They tend to keep their water bottles inside their bag. Also, laptops come in a case (at least, the kind which schools encourage do), so if the water bottle leaks it will not damage the laptop. High school students should be smart enough to prevent these simple ways of damaging their laptop.
2.Laptops can save more paper than recyclable paper notebooks can, because the point of recyclable books is that they are recycled after their use, but a lot of times students do not bother to do this (even though they should).
3.You can always back up your data so if something happens to your laptop you won"t lose all of your data (and it does not cost a lot to do this, all you need is a USB or harddrive).
4.Viruses tend to be spread through attatchments in emails and social networks. It is the student"s responsibility to recognise this (e.g. by scanning the attachment beforehand). Also, virus protection software should be installed and updated monthly; again, it is the student"s responsibility to realise this, because they are told when they sign the contract for bringing a laptop to school.
5.Laptops do not make people become lazier. As I have already mentioned, people are not going to be any less distracted whether they have laptops or not. I have experienced this: once, somebody in my class was caught playing games so he had to close his MacBook. After the teacher went back to the front of the class, he simply took his phone out and started playing under the desk. Whenever the teacher walked past, he would drop the phone into his bag so the teacher would not see. And as for copying assignments, even if they "read and write it a little" they have still copied and will get into trouble. An alternative is to make someone else to write two versions of his essay (some people actually do this) and then they can simply copy away, and the teacher will never know what has happened.
6.Teachers are taught how to use technology, but they do not need to use it". one of my teachers allows us to use our laptops to take notes and do research (but we can use pen and paper if we want), but the teacher does not use her computer at all, except to record our marks and mark the class register.
7.It is possible to track what students are doing" some schools use tracking software, such as LanSchool. Everybody in the school with a laptop is forced to install the software (this is allowed because when they signed the contract for using a laptop, one of the guidelines is that the school has a right to track them), and the class teacher can track what everybody in the class is doing from her desktop screen (again, they are taught how to use the software), unless if the person"s Wi-Fi is not turned on. If this happens, it will say so on the teacher"s screen, and the teacher can tell the person to turn their Wi-Fi on. The tracking software does not work when the student is off campus, so what they are doing at home can"t be tracked by the school. And remember what I said earlier: even if the motivated kids are told off by their teacher, they are still not going to learn and can simply not pay attention in class.
8.Most people store things other than school textbooks in their locker, such as a musical instrument or their sports gear. This does not leave a lot of room for storing textbooks. And don"t forget what I said about lockers being broken into: it is extremely easy to break into somebody"s school locker, it happens at my school very often. People can also steal your laptop, but if this happens they need to be able to figure out your password to do anything to your data, which is very unlikely, especially if you have a strong password. Anyway, if you have backed your data up, you are fine.
9.My thesis is that secondary school laptops should be allowed laptops at school, not that they need to be able to have laptops at school. Even though it is better for a student to have laptop, if a country or school cannot afford it, then that come"s first and the student can live without it, but it is preferable if the student does have a laptop. Also, my earlier suggestion about schools purchasing laptops was only one alternative. What my school does is make everyone buy their own laptop, but if they can"t afford it, they can burrow one of the 30-50 laptops which the school purchases (there are more than 2000 students at my school so this is not a lot) for the day, and when they are done they can store the data on a USB, and return the laptop to the school. Of course, if anything happens to the laptop, the student must pay for the damage. This method is actually quite cheap for the school. Also, sometimes the teacher will want the whole class to be doing the same thing on their laptop (e.g. in a Society and Environment class the teacher might want all of the students to go on an online history quiz, and enter themselves as a competitior in the quiz, which the teacher monitors).
Clearly, the benefits of students having laptops highly outweigh their few minor downfalls, because they make students high school lives much easier and enhances their learning experience.
I would like to thank my opponent for debating against me, this has been a wonderful and interesting debate!
No problem pro^^ And thank you for the chance! This has been a good and nice debate.
1. Accidents are accidents, and there are no guarantees that students wont broke their laptop,
2. Again pro, I believe in my previous argument I have suggest they school should make rule about students have to buy books from recycled paper, and it is actually helping the environment as usually offices didn't bother to do this.
3. You contradict yourself in this statement "You can always back up your data so if something happens to your laptop you won"t lose all of your data (and it does not cost a lot to do this, all you need is a USB or hard drive)." before you said that laptops can save a lot of data, etc. If the USB or hard drive can do this, then what is the use of letting students bring laptop to school? They can just bring their USB with their assignment and give it to the teacher.
4. If you are using laptops and internets for sending assignment to your teacher or sharing notes with your friends, you will clearly use email a lot. And thus your chance for accidentally click random attachment has increased,
5. Yes, but which one is harder ? Texting in the middle of class and have to be cautious around, because once the teacher saw you with your phone, the teacher immediately know you aren't paying attention, but if you're playing video games, the teacher can't immediately know. Thus it is ineffective.
6. 'They do not need to use it' 'we can use pen and paper if we want' then what is the point of allowing students to bring laptops to school ? Isn't it just complicating things ?
7. So, you suggest that the teachers have double role :
2. Watching everything the students do?
isn't it making the teacher's teaching performance decrease ? Because they to pay attention to two things in the same time.
8. The locker's purpose is to storing textbooks, and since you didn't rebuttal my point of they are actually pretty large, I believe you agree with my point. And if the students decides to store other things beside textbooks, it is their own fault. Just like how you are saying that damage to their laptops is their own faults.
9. "if a country or school cannot afford it, then that come"s first and the student can live without it, but it is preferable if the student does have a laptop." Thus pro have agree to my point on government is busy and cant provide schools with laptops.
"Of course, if anything happens to the laptop, the student must pay for the damage. This method is actually quite cheap for the school."
it is like pro is trying to forcing students to have laptops, yet when they accidentally damage it or something they have to pay it, isn't it a little bit unfair ? Since they cant even refuse the laptops as the school is forcing them to.
Clearly, pro has failed to see the status quo and forcing his own opinion without any exact reason nor any urgencies about why secondary students should be allowed laptops.
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