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Zam

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Are you better off without...
« on: April 10, 2007, 03:06:12 PM »
...a laptop?

This week in the Washington Post David Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University, wrote about why he has banned laptops in his classroom. After the first six weeks of class he did an anonymous survey; 80% of his students said they were more engaged in class without a laptop, and 70% said they preferred not having a laptop.   

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/06/AR2007040601544.html

Professor Cole is not the first professor to ban laptops; at every school I've visited there have been a few law professors who do not allow laptops in class.

This is my question: if doing well in law school is really about gaining as many small advantages over your classmates as possible, should you use a laptop? If you are truly more engaged without it, should you opt to leave your laptop in the bag?

Discuss.

Johnny Stuffs His Mouth

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2007, 03:07:16 PM »
...a laptop?

This week in the Washington Post David Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University, wrote about why he has banned laptops in his classroom. After the first six weeks of class he did an anonymous survey; 80% of his students said they were more engaged in class without a laptop, and 70% said they preferred not having a laptop.   

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/06/AR2007040601544.html

Professor Cole is not the first professor to ban laptops; at every school I've visited there have been a few law professors who do not allow laptops in class.

This is my question: if doing well in law school is really about gaining as many small advantages over your classmates as possible, should you use a laptop? If you are truly more engaged without it, should you opt to leave your laptop in the bag?

Discuss.

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skeeball

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2007, 03:12:33 PM »
Meh.

Some people can sit in front of a computer without surfing the internet.

And if it's such a problem why did all law schools start putting wireless internet in all the classrooms?

Zam

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2007, 03:26:49 PM »
Meh.

Some people can sit in front of a computer without surfing the internet.

And if it's such a problem why did all law schools start putting wireless internet in all the classrooms?

If you read the article you will see that he is not actually JUST saying that laptops are a distraction because you can do other things on them besides take notes. He is also saying that when you hand write something you have to slow down more and think about what is really important; unless you are a stenographer you can only write so fast. He says that he has seen a marked decline in student participation and the quality of student participation while laptops have become more prevalent.

I just think it's interesting; I know that when I hand write something I remember it better and am curious to know what others think of this.

Johnny Stuffs His Mouth

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2007, 03:28:21 PM »
I for one find all that clickety-clackety nonsense distracting.
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Johnny Stuffs His Mouth

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 03:35:36 PM »
I'd do better in school if I just came to class, tape-recorded the lecture, and paid attention the whole time without worrying about taking notes. Sure, I wouldn't capture what the prof was writing, but they usually say it out loud anyway.
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Reign

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2007, 03:40:09 PM »
I use my convertible pc in tablet mode during classes. I remember more, pay better attention and think more when I write. I don't like typing notes during class. I feel I'm not really interacting with the information or doing much thinking. I'm just coping.

However - I want all my notes on my laptop (easier to organize, backup or send someone notes). I wouldn't be please to be forced to write on paper.

But it also has a lot to do with how a person learns and how much they need to interact with the info. Boss gets the same benefit from writing or typing. I don't.

Zam

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 03:47:01 PM »
I think for me the way I would get the most out of class would be to take notes without my laptop during class and then add the notes I took into my outline on the computer after class.

It does seem like a lot of work though. I also like the idea of recording class; my sister does this for one of her very challenging upper level science classes and says she really likes it. (PS: you can attach a microphone to many iPods).

I think a lot of people write down too much of what professors say and not what they are really saying, if you know what I mean.


skeeball

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2007, 03:51:47 PM »
From the handfull of law classes I've been to, it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to figure out what you should be typing/writing down...

Zam

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Re: Are you better off without...
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2007, 03:59:34 PM »
From the handfull of law classes I've been to, it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to figure out what you should be typing/writing down...

Well, you'd be ahead of me then.

In principle I know what should be included; skip anything about case facts or holdings, those are in your casebook, write down hypos, policy stuff, what your prof stresses or spends a lot of time on. But in reality I think I would be tempted to write almost everything down, if only because of the clattering keyboards around me.