Ban the laptop?
This is an interesting article from David Cole. He has banned laptops from his law lectures. Students were surfing the web, checking emails, sms messaging friends etc during class. As I read the article I couldn't help thinking that one of the most obvious issues was that he was standing at the front of the class "sage on the stage" style delivering knowledge to his students.
He argues that
As for multitasking, I don't buy it. Attention diverted is attention diverted.
Mmmmmm????? This point is worth pondering. We are hearing a lot about "digital natives" whose brains are wired differently. To what extent does this impact our classrooms?
Yes there are times when lecture style delivery is just the most efficient way to communicate a body of knowledge deemed important. At those times then putting down the laptop may be a valid call but I want to know, how much of a students day is in this sort of class? At university where face to face time is a lot less than at school maybe it isn't such an issue. In school where we have the students for extended periods how much of the day is lecture delivery?
How many opportunities do my students get to ask questions, present their opinions, search for answers, clarify ideas, talk about their understanding and create new knowledge for themselves.
I think web2.0 tools allow some increased opportunities to engage in knowledge creation. For me... I'm still trying to integrate the laptop effectively into learning, I'm not ready to ban it just yet. :) What do you think?