Classroom Technology Shouldn't Cost Extra
Published: Monday, March 26, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 00:03
A Georgetown education comes with a price. But for all it covers, our tuition dollars could be stretched further.
In the case of the Language Learning Technology Center Lab, however, the university forces a select group of students to pay additional fees above and beyond tuition costs. Students shouldn’t be unfairly forced to pay for a resource that, for many others, is either covered under tuition or is otherwise optional.
Intercultural Center 224, 226 and 227, officially known as the Language Learning Technology Center Lab, provides language and linguistics students with access to technology intended to enhance their learning experience.
The three rooms feature various recording devices for students to record graded conversations, Smart Boards and international DVD players. Additionally, the lab allows students enrolled in language courses to stream media that would otherwise be unavailable to them because of copyrights.
These resources are beneficial but are part of graded work required for courses, and yet the fee associated with them is not included in general tuition. Instead, language departments require students to pay an additional fee of $70 per course per semester for use of the lab.
While we understand that the technology does have to be maintained and updated, there shouldn’t be an additional charge to students enrolled in particular classes or pursuing particular majors. Access to the resources available in the lab should be universal, rather than paid for on a class-by-class basis.
Also, since the majority of classroom requirements, like recorded conversations, can be replicated through personal computers, students are reluctant to physically go to the Intercultural Center to complete an assignment that they can complete anywhere else. Students shouldn’t have to pay for technology they already have. Other programs like STATA, used in many statistics courses, are offered on university computers but do not require students to pay additional resource fees. Access to these programs, too, is included with general enrollment and registration tuition.
Access to streamed movies, audio components for listening exercises and recording devices are undoubtedly beneficial to those students enrolled in language or linguistics courses. But given that all students have already covered costs to study on the Hilltop, paying for additional infrequently-used technologies seems unjustified.