Laptops, students, distraction: hardly a surprise

I originally wrote this in 2008 but just updated it.

The Story's Story

This post grew out of a comment responding to the question, “What Restrictions Should Student Laptops Have?” It’s of interest to me because I’m a graduate student who teaches English 101/102 and takes classes at the University of Arizona. In addition, this post dovetails nicely with “Desktops versus laptops.”

I hadn’t realized that the questioner in the original Slashdot post referred to high school students who would keep the computers.

The short version: leave restrictions or lack thereof to the teachers or instructors.

For background, read Why I ban laptops in my classroom, I Don’t Multitask, professor vs laptop and then Paul Graham’s Disconnecting Distraction followed by Is Google Making Us Stupid? in The Atlantic. If Paul Graham finds the Internet ceaselessly distracting, what hope do freshmen have? I hear from friends that they feel like they can’t go more than a half hour…

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