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[ NNSquad ] Re: [IP] ] Laptops in the classroom -- a reverse of direction

(oops, sent my response to the wrong message, trying again)

Perhaps this should be seen as a learning opportunity. Laptops are symptom of new possibilities for learning as well as distraction. As per the iPad comments – it’s hard to pick and choose between good bits and bad bits. While I understand the value of stop-gap measures they shouldn’t be more than that.

Perhaps I’m overly influenced by Seymour Papert and my own personal experience.

Personally I don’t make much use of laptops during conferences and lectures – if I’m not going to pay attention I wander out. That’s harder for students. I do know that as soon as I ran out of distractions, like drinking coffee, in my student days I’d escape by falling asleep.

The problem here sounds like a problem with how we approach education – getting students to take responsibility for learning rather than expecting them to master a subject by being forced to pay attention. Is there a class in how to learn by using available materials including lectures? Do teachers try to “sell” understanding or just lecture?

Once they graduate distractions are the norm – will students be prepared to take responsibility for continuing to learn?


From: Dave Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net]
Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2010 11:31
To: ip
Subject: [IP] ] Laptops in the classroom -- a reverse of direction


Anyone care to estimate time to jailbreak the ipad.  djf 

Begin forwarded message:

From: Adam Fields <ip20398470293845@aquick.org>
Date: March 9, 2010 10:42:59 AM EST
To: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
Cc: ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>
Subject: Re: [IP] Laptops in the classroom -- a reverse of direction

For IP, if you wish:

On Tue, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:33:42AM -0500, David Farber wrote:

The Post carries a story this morning about the trend to ban laptops

in the classroom.  Faculty who used to welcome laptops now banning

them because multitasking students don't pay full attention to the

discussion.  This is a possibility, I audited Julie Cohen's

copyright law class at Georgetown back in 2006 and although some

students seems to be taking noted intensively, I was struck by the

number of students who were using their laptops for other tasks. One

young man sitting in front of me spent my of the class writing for

his election blog.


This seems like a perfect for the iPad and other devices that don't
"support" user multitasking. It seems a very short stretch to simply
disable the home button on the iPad until the teacher code is typed
in, allowing teachers to load up an application relevant to the class
and not permitting students access to anything else while the class is
going on.

               - Adam

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