A correspondent writes:
So I’m attending a class on Hume’s Treatise this term and often sit diagonally behind a young man who uses his laptop to “take notes.” Last week he was reviewing lectures and taking a quiz *for an online class* while he was in the live action philosophy class.
Now that’s what I would call efficient! Not efficient for learning, but rather an efficient way to spend your tuition money. Who wants to bet that the student in question will also expect the proffie in the F2F class to post hir lecture notes online too, so that they can be reviewed in still yet another class? (P.S. This is why I never post lecture notes online or on Blackboard, and don’t share them at all unless a student has a documented medical problem preventing them from attending class or a documented learning disability.)
I have never banned laptops in my classes, mostly because it’s only one or two students who want to use them, and what do I care if they want to play around with Facebook or other timewasters, so long as they don’t audibly or visibly disturb their classmates? I recall quite clearly the ability to look busy but not pay attention in class by writing letters to my boyfriend du jour, daydreaming, or making other notes to myself (and to tell the truth, I have done this in meetings at my day job–notes to myself, not to a boyfriend, that is), so the notion that students might use newer technologies to ignore what’s going on in class doesn’t bother me overmuch. I figure it will happen regardless of whether or not I confiscate their computers and smart phones before class.
What’s your policy, and/or that of your professors or colleagues?