A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Law Professor Bans Laptops in Class

What do you think of this professor's actions? While I am not prepared to make such a move, I have noticed that when I teach, the students who most engage in the discussion are the ones who do not have their faces in front of a computer screen.

I would be interested in hearing from teachers and students-- those who use laptops in class and those who do not.

* * * * * * *

From Associated Press
March 29, 2006 8:21 AM EST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A University of Memphis law professor has banned laptop computers from her classroom and her students are passing a petition against it.

Professor June Entman says her main concern is that students are so busy keyboarding they can't think and analyze what she's telling them.

Students have begun collecting signatures on petitions and tried unsuccessfully to file a complaint with the American Bar Association.

Student Cory Winsett says if he must continue without his laptop, he'll transfer to another school. Winsett says he won't be able to keep up if he has to rely on hand-written notes, which he says are incomplete and less organized.


Karen said...

At my college we all leased laptops from the school, so we all had one and we all used them a lot.

I do know there were kids who were playing games on their computer during class, and I'll admit I did it occasionally to. And I'm sure that was/is frustrating for teachers.

The other side is that college students now have grownup using computers. Many of us do type FAST and so it is a lot easier to take notes on a computer, and a lot easier to make the legible there. There are the problems with looking back and thinking what does that say? It is also a lot easier to keep track of a bunch of files on the computer than a bunch of notebooks full of stuff, not to mention the added ability of being able to do things like search for key terms when you need them. And it is better for the envrioment. I mean that is A LOT of trees you use in college for notes!

I personally didn't use my computer in class a whole lot, I like to write, but that is just me. I had LOTS of friends who did all their note taking on the computer and it worked great for them.

Allan R. Bevere said...


I understand where you are coming from. When I was in college, we still used typewriters, but if I had a computer, I probably would have just used paper anyway.

Even today when I have become rather computer savvy, and very dependent upon it, I would still use paper and pencil to take class notes.

Brennan said...

For some people, with especially bad hand writing, I think it's useful. However, I think the best thing to do would be to hand out laptops for everybody, no personal laptops, and have them only work with a word processor on a university file server. It would probably solve the problem. Also, in some ways, it's saving paper, and considering most people don't recycle their notes, but simply throw the in the garbage, kind of makes me think that less paper=more good.