No, you're confused, nerds smile when we raise our hands
You guys are both a little off on this.
Nerds don't raise their hand in classes because we are usually playing a video game or reading something (possibly about how to create something to continue taking over the world) and not paying attention in class because we already know the stuff and are bored at the slow pace of the classes. We just show up and sit there cuz that is what we are supposed to do and use the time to work on other things.
Dorks look like nerds and raise their hands and very much want to be nerds but whenever they ask a question or say something all the nerds cringe at the lameness of what they say and the dorks are Exiled from being recognized as a nerd and denied membership.
Gunners come from many different categories, from nerd to dork to jock to player or whatever. They can also be mixed breeds. The worst type of gunner is an extroverted dork that wants to be a nerd and also wants to fit in and hang out with the 'cool' popular people social crowd. They are annoying but good for entertainment at times, especially since they can't hold their booze. At parties/social events you will find them praying to the porcelain god early into the party.
I think you're forgetting the five minutes when the professor goes off on an interesting tangent that gets us nerds involved in the class. We smile because the topic genuinely excites us.