Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm sorry, could you repeat the question?

NPR had an interesting piece today about the over use of laptop computers in college classrooms.

I've been in graduate school for 3 years now and I must say, I found this a completely fascinating phenomenon, after 20 years outside academia. For a while I tried typing notes in class but found I was causing too much of a distraction (I do a 4 finger peck that is VERY lowd; the younger you are, the softer your touch - all that practice in the tweenie years).

Though in the beginning I was lured by the novelty, and tried to take notes on my laptop, I must admit that I eventually reverted to written notes. I found I was better able to retain the material, and with the computer, I was often tempted to check my email and the sports scores.

The ONLY time I found using a laptop practical was in a municipal law course where the professor was constantly referring to state statutes, and it served everybody well to simply cut-and-past the statute reference from the state website into your written notes.

But this post is going out to many of my friends who teach, professors and piers studying at graduate school. So I put it to you, what's your opinion of the use of laptops during course lectures?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hm. I'm a typer, but I MUCH prefer writing notes over typing, regardless of the fact that I can indeed type twice as fast as I write. The act of writing is a meditation; call me old school, but I think the actual writing of notes is an Essential Experience that every student should engage in - unless you're my littlest sister, whose handwriting is so bad that even SHE can't decipher it.

I think laptops are disruptive. I think they are a novelty when used for notetaking, and for now, the novelty outweights the utility. On a side note, a lot of our peers aren't typing notes at all, they're writing comments on peoples' blogs and playing Flash Tetris. :o) I'M INNOCENT I SWEAR!

- Nieta

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very distracting. Take notes instead please.

Signed: A student.

12:29 AM  
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