By Jimmy Vong
Computer accessibility is a necessity for students striving to succeed in college and a major issue here at East Los Angeles College.
Students are stressed trying to find open computer stations to complete assignments. Many professors here at East Los Angeles College assign students essays or exams that require the use of a computer.
The lack of computer availability is unfair to those who actually want to do their schoolwork. Students have to go from building to building to find a computer that is open.
What many students do not realize is that time is extremely valuable for a student in college. Not only do they have to worry about their schoolwork, but their own jobs and personal lives, as well.
I have been consistently going to different buildings to find computers to use because most of them have been taken. When I look at the monitors that the students are using, most of them consist of social media sites that are irrelevant to schoolwork.
At Elac, there are three labs where students can use computers. There is the library, the technology building, and the math lab.
The library consists of 200 computers, the technology building has 62 computers and the math lab 50 computers. That means that there are a total of 312 computers open to students.
There are currently over 35,000 students attending ELAC. Among those students, we are left to share only 312 computers.
According to Nielsen’s annual social media report, The United States spent 121 billion minutes on social media sites in July 2012 alone. That’s 388 minutes, or 6-1/2 hours, per person. These numbers have increased dramatically in the past years.
With finals quickly approaching, the demand for computer use has become increasingly high. Many students are beginning to cram study hours into a short amount of time and rushing to finish research projects that are due.
If every computer is occupied for a couple hours at a time, many students are left waiting for an open station and that can be counterproductive.
One way that we can help to minimize this issue is to limit the amount of time a student has per station. This will make students work efficiently to get their work done.
Not only are students waiting to use a computer, but they are trying to make sure that they have enough time to complete their work before their next class starts.
I have recently experienced this first hand, when I was trying to complete an online quiz that was due. My Internet at home had suddenly stopped working so I had to make my way to a campus computer.
I realized that there were no computers open, so I waited until a station opened up. This was extremely stressful for me because I was able to see many students wasting their time on the Internet searching things that were unrelated to school.
Another way that we can help is to have a designated area for school related activities and another for leisure.
A firewall can be set up on the computers to prevent students from logging onto social media or networking sites in the designated area for school-related activities.
This may allow students the peace of mind knowing that they have a place where they can go to complete their assignments without being disturbed by students who are unproductive.