The ABA Journal reports that “more law schools are banning [laptops] as a distraction.” However, is this true or just journalism?
Well, according to the Teknoids listserv:
Although the article suggests that Duke did away with its ownership requirement because “so many profs had some ban on laptops that students began to question why the machines were required, “our requirement was actually removed because it was no longer necessary to facilitate students’ ability to obtain financial aid for laptop purchases, and because since the students all owned laptops, they felt it was no longer necessary to tell them to do so… After doing a survey of courses offered in fall 2005, we learned that …laptops were allowed without restriction in about 72 percent of upperclass courses. Classroom restrictions were not a significant factor in the decision to remove the ownership requirement, which was made upon the recommendation of a faculty/student committee.”
Catherine Ross Dunham discusses both sides in the Spring 2007 Law Teacher newsletter.
There are some really good posts ont the subject in Greg Bowman’s Law Careers blog – (Computers in Class, Computer Bans, More on Computer Bans, Multitasking in the Classroom, Multicommenting on Multitasking, Computer Bans Hitting the Mainstream?)
Check out this Doonesbury cartoon.
This topic will continue to be discussed – The Association of American Law Schools’ (AALS) Section on Teaching Methods is sponsoring a panel at the AALS Annual Meeting in January 2008 entitled “Laptops in the Classroom: Attractions or Distractions?“.