Law professor bans laptops in class

One more reason to use a notebook:


"MEMPHIS (AP) — A group of University of Memphis law students are passing a petition against a professor who banned laptop computers from her classroom because she considers them a distraction in lectures.

On March 6, Professor June Entman warned her first-year law students by e-mail to bring pens and paper to take notes in class.

"My main concern was they were focusing on trying to transcribe every word that was I saying, rather than thinking and analyzing," Entman said Monday. "The computers interfere with making eye contact. You’ve got this picket fence between you and the students."

The move didn’t sit well with the students, who have begun collecting signatures against the move and tried to file a complaint with the American Bar Association. The complaint, based on an ABA rule for technology at law schools, was dismissed…."

USA Today/ Tech
March 21, 2006


6 thoughts on “Law professor bans laptops in class

  1. My university requires all students to have laptops (we have to rent them for ridiculous prices from the school). I prefer taking written notes during class, and use mine for the internet and writing papers. You would not believe how many people sit there on instant messenger typing away to their friends and surfing the ‘net (I’ll admit to doing this when I first started school). I now realize how distracting it is. When you’re trying to listen to your professor, and all you see is a sea of screens and lots of typing (most of which isn’t note typing), it gets pretty annoying. I don’t blame the professor. I wouldn’t want to talk to laptops, either.

  2. I seriously doubt if many of the students are taking notes. Probably more IM’ing, poker and web surfing.

  3. I had a professor who just did the same thing and gave the same reasons. But as a professor in training, I don’t find it distracting at when working with my students. One of the easiest ways I have combatted it is that I walk all around the classroom when I do my lectures/discussion. So, I can easily see what is on people’s screens. I also tend to break my classes up into smaller discussion groups and force them to answer questions so they don’t necessarily have time for IMing etc.

  4. I don’t know what I would’ve done last year in my Environmental Studies classes if they would have banned laptops. The man in front of me, who had very bad eye sight, had to zoom the screen in sooo much that the cursor looked like an X-Wing. Going to school and watching ‘Star Wars: Attack of the Punctuation’ everyday, what else would I need?

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