Laptops and the internet may have changed how law students prepare for class and do research, but most professors stick to the Socratic method of teaching. Despite this, students use laptops during class, and whether this is a hindrance or an advantage is a contentious subject.
Some students furiously write down everything the professor says and never take the time to dissect and understand the larger picture. Other students somehow manage to check email, instant message, take notes, and still give good answers when called on to answer a question. For the most part, whether a student learns better seems to depend on the individual.
With that in mind, it seems odd some professors ban laptops in the classroom. Many attorneys use laptops in the courtroom, and most schools require students to buy a computer to attend their law school. Using a computer does not provide some secret advantage for class discussions. It might distract some students, but isn’t that the students choice to not pay attention? Even if these students did not have laptops in class, I am fairly certain they would find something else to distract themselves.
Good students use laptops to enhance their learning, and they should be allowed to do so.
(photo: Felix42 contra la censura)