Six Ways to Use Your Computer in College

Barry Lenson

Six Ways to Use Your Computer in College

Before we start writing about computers in the classroom, we have a confession to make . . .

We have spies.

That’s right, spies. They are college students who tell us about weird things that they are seeing on campuses these days.  Here are some of our spies’ stories about some unusual ways that students are using their laptops on campus this year . . .

1 - Skype a lecture. You and your roommate both have a lecture at 10:00 a.m., but your roommate can’t seem to get out of bed. No problem! You head to the lecture and Skype it to him.  Note that this ploy requires a swiveling webcam on your laptop, because if you turn your laptop around and point it at your prof, she’s going to know that something’s up.

2 - Go shopping. You sit in your lecture hall and peck away on your computer. Your professor thinks you are taking notes on all of her brilliant statements, but you’re really buying jeans. Note that this only works in lectures where no information is presented. You know which ones those are.

3 - Record a lecture for later review. Sit there, smile, and think about anything you want while your computer records the lecture onto your hard drive. Heck, you’ll absorb more information later in the day when you’re awake, right?

4 - Try to crack up your classmates by sending them funny messages. Even though your instructor thinks you are taking notes, you are really sending messages about him that say, “Where’d he buy that tie, Home Depot?” or, “If this bozo says `existentialism’ one more time, I'll scream.”

5 - Google for answers and look like a star. Okay, this is shady. But if your professor asks, “Anybody know when Alexander Pope lived?” search online and throw your hand up with the correct answer in four seconds.  A few warnings, however. First, if you overuse this technique, people are going to catch on. Second, be sure to sit in the last row in the lecture hall, because if your classmates see you doing it, they are likely to raise hell.

6 - Take college courses online in your own home. Okay, this is a bit different from the other ways to use computers that we noted above. It’s a legitimate way to use your computer to further your education.  Nice to know that there’s one of those, right? But don’t feel like you are out of the fun if this is how you use your computer. When you finish up a lesson, you can still go online to shop for jeans, right? So you’re getting the best of all possible worlds.

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