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Answering Technology’s Calls

This year, the administration decided allow students to use mobile devices for non-voice communication, including texting, Facebook and video games, when not in class. The School has also mandated that all faculty must reply to e-mails within 24 hours or by 5p.m. on Monday for anything sent over the weekend.

The UV commends the new 24-hour e-mail policy, and students have found that almost all teachers are following the rule. Of course, there will always be a small number of people who won’t fall in line, but overall the policy is helping the School communicate more efficiently.

The UV also applauds the new mobile device policy. A student can now pull out a unit converter app and convert Fahrenheit to Celsius in a split second while doing chemistry homework in the ARC; create virtual flashcards to study for that quiz she’d forgotten was next period; find the definition of that French word she just can’t seem to remember during Break; and even get in some SAT practice during those insanely long passing periods—all from the palm of her hand.

By eliminating the outdated technology policy and allowing students to utilize technology to their advantage, the School is catching up with the fast-paced communication of the modern world. Girls can now quickly find friends during free periods using their phones and can easily contact parents to schedule pick-ups and drop-offs without having to resort to the secrecy of a bathroom stall, as we all did last year.

And yet, we realize that students rarely use technology solely for educational purposes. Although we are not opposed to the non-academic usage of technology during the school day, we’d like to caution the student body against abusing these new privileges. Technology is the source of the majority of distractions in our academic lives, and we advise students to manage their time wisely during free periods. We all know that it is much more beneficial for us to start tonight’s APUSH reading than surf Facebook or brew potions on Pottermore for an hour, yet we all seem to get pulled into a routine of procrastination anyway. If an episode of Glee aired the night before, it’s easy to choose watching it over finishing the bowl you started in Ceramics. A few times a month, it’s okay to give in to relaxation rather than work, but let’s try to not make a habit of it.

We also must remember that under the new policy, going on Facebook or texting during class is still prohibited. It is up to us to be responsible and follow the rules in the Student Technology Acceptable Use Policy. We do not want to give the School a reason to question its decision and run the risk of having these privileges taken away from us.