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Some students pursue a post secondary education for the love of learning, some to improve their employability, and others simply because their parents are paying the bill. This isn’t to say that only students with skin in the game take college seriously, but everybody knows at least one guy from school who was only there to party. Partner this dude up with a Dell, and you might be asking for trouble.
Recent studies into the value of notebooks in the classroom have yet to prove anything conclusive, but clearly their worth in a traditional lecture style setting is in dispute. When used properly, notebooks can help students stay organized, connected, and even improve marks, but what about those who are easily distracted? Ars Technica offered an interesting perspective into this topic, and it’s undoubtedly something that warrants further discussion. Do laptops really help, or do they only distract students?
As a part time student myself, I can honestly say the ratio of students taking notes to those surfing the web, watching video, and fragging in Quakelive is pretty ridiculous. It’s fairly clear, at least in my limited sample group that the vast majority of notebook users in the classroom are only distracting themselves, and those around them.
Is this something we need to take action on? Or should we do as Ars Technica suggests and banish them all to the back of the classroom? Let us know what you think.