An interesting article re: some professors not allowing students to use laptops in class. It's interesting only it that it demonstrates many of the different arguments regarding the validity of using laptops as a note-taking tool. I generally disagree with the author who somehow equates those professors with concerns about laptops as luddites. I'm far-far and away from a luddite. In fact, I'm generally fascinated by the many tools available to students and wished I had had them when I was undertaking coursework. However, I do notice that classes have a tendency to become much less "interactive" in relation to how many laptops are being used. Some students never look at me the entire class and type furiously whether I'm lecturing OR NOT. I'm fairly adept with technology (moreso than most of my students, probably, given my background and higher purchasing power), and I can tell when students are concentrating on me, or their laptops. I have VAST amounts of experience with the "techno stare," since I've been guilty of it so very often, myself.
I haven't yet decided to ban laptops from my classroom, but every semester I teach, I inch ever closer to doing so.
Some interesting quotes from the article:
[If one wants to use a laptop in school, one should] “Drop out of NYU and go enroll in the University of Phoenix.” [There is some wrongness to this quote--no one with a heart should ever tell anyone to enroll at that particular university.]
And… just so the college kids know… professors have been lecturing for millenia. Get over the “I’m bored” rant. Learn to concentrate and glean what you can from these people who know their subject far better than you do. You’re not paying them to entertain you. You’re paying the university for an EDUCATION. If you’d rather be entertained while educated, go home and watch Sesame Street and Magic School Bus.
From time-to-time I find interesting articles about the state of universities, the field of history, etc. I'll post them here just in case anyone else is interested.