If it’s not necessary, students shouldn’t be forced to get it

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We’re only one month into the school year and teachers have begun to ask students to get additional materials that are not available in the NSU bookstore. Sure, I might understand why you want us to buy a textbook that costs over $100 only to use it for the questions at the end of each chapter, but why an additional app?

It seems logical that professors would want their class to buy priority reading materials, but in order to get supplementary materials, students need to have money. A lot of students are practically broke by the time they start the new semester because of tuition cost and housing, so some patience and consideration would be gratefully accepted if a student cannot buy the desired app during syllabus week. I get that teachers are trying to get more inventive with the way they introduce material, which is cool and all, but they should try it with apps that are free.

Now, apps like Tophat, or TopHATE, lets professors “easily create [their] own fully interactive homework assignments and quizzes that students find fun, challenging and confidence-building.” Yeah, students find it fun spending $40 on an app that will only be used to post mandatory comments and answer pop quizzes. Yippie. Fun. The confidence level that students have after the first week of using these kind of apps is astonishing because it is almost as if it hasn’t even changed at all.

An additional app which students have had to download is Remind. It reminds students of their assignments and quizzes. It’s a communication platform where the professor can send emails and alerts for when assignments are due. Just. Like. Blackboard.

Professors should stick to programs that students are accustomed to using. Why change from Blackboard to another application that has the same function as Blackboard? Instructors should find alternative methods that do not include spending more money on apps that are not exactly serving a purpose. My textbook information is not on the app, my final exam will not be in the app and my final grade will not be posted in the app. These apps are a waste of money. And sometimes, they’re not even a pay-a-one-time-fee kind of app, so if you have that professor again the following semester, most likely you will have to buy a longer subscription to the app they utilized.

Pop quizzes can be moved to paper and pen. There is nothing wrong with writing out a question on the board and answering it at that moment with a sheet of paper from a stack that costs $1 and a pen from a 12 pen pack that cost a total of $3 or $4. This would still get the job done because “I don’t want to download another app fo’ yo’ class!”

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