Susan Kuo, guest blogger in Concurring Opinions recently posted a poem entitled, Shiny Happy Laptopless Students:
How much do I like it? Let me count the ways.
I like it to the depth and breadth and height
Of my classroom, when marveling at the sight
Of 1Ls engaged in class discussion.
I like it to the level of my students’ gaze,
With which I now have a direct eye connection.
I like it freely, as the students set discourse ablaze;
I like it purely, as they turn from malaise.
I like it with a teaching passion once deflected
By the tops of student heads bent over their PCs.
I like it with a like that I formerly rejected
When looking out over a laptop sea, — I like my shiny
Happy, laptopless students! – and, unless otherwise directed,
I shall but like it better even after course evaluations skewer me
…that laptops not be banned from law school classrooms. Instead, I argue that professors must do their best to teach to all students – to those who feel they learn best by using a laptop as an aid and to those who complain of the distractions caused. I do this by implementing a laptop-free zone, restricting the first or first few rows in my classrooms to no laptops. This creates an area where students who are distracted by neighboring screens and nearby typing are free (as possible without an all-out ban) from those distractions. Further, doing so still respects those students who have learned to use a laptop as an educational tool.
Sounds like a great idea to me!