Hot of the presses of MSN today: “More professors ban laptops in class: Attempt to end computer distractions; rekindle discussion.” From the article:
PHILADELPHIA – As the professor lectured on the law, the student wore a poker face. But that was probably because, under the guise of taking notes on his laptop, the student actually was playing poker — online, using the school’s wireless Internet connection.
The scenario is not uncommon in today’s college classrooms, and some instructors want it stopped. So they have done the unthinkable — banned laptops.
This article is really not a big surprise to me, MANY professors in higher education oppose letting students use laptops during class. In a college of business close to where I live, professors have actually said, “There is no way our students can have laptops unless I have a way to control their screens and lock them down when I want to during my lecture.”
Hmmmm. Flashback to my post from January, “The Synchronous Non-interactive Fallacy:”
Why do so many college professors suffer under the delusion that students should want to come to class when their instructor drones on and on in lecture, and does not provide opportunities for interaction?!
There is nothing wrong with lecturing, or “sitting and getting,” as long as we do it in moderation in schools. This is why we need more use of hybrid instructional modalities, especially in higher education. When an instructor want to use a synchronous non-interactive teaching modality, that is fine in moderation– but they should use podcasts if the lecture goes longer than 20 minutes!
What would I do if a professor announced that laptops were banned his his/her class? Simple. I would drop the class and find another professor. These students in Philadelphia should do the same. The following solution some professors have found is RIDICULOUS and should be rejected by the students who are most likely paying ridiculously exorbitant fees to learn at their university:
One remedy instructors have, he [Paul Engelking, a chemistry professor at the University of Oregon] said, is to establish penalties for Web surfing, codify them in a course syllabus, and then enforce them.
It’s an educational marketplace out there, folks. When students vote with their feet, university administrators tend to pay attention.
Thanks to AHF for this link! 🙂
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- Podcast56: Marco Torres on Engaging Students Through Digital Media - 2006