Dear Commons Community,
During the past few days there has been a very interesting discussion on the Hunter College LISTSERV debating the use and misuse of laptops in the classroom. The yeas refer to the fact that laptops are becoming indispensable learning tools and many students now use them to take notes and to look up information pertinent to class discussions. The nays cite examples of students not actually using their laptops for instruction-related activities and that many are engaged in social networking, reading emails, and in one case, looking at pornography. It appears that the issue is of particular concern to faculty who teach in large lecture halls with hundreds of students where control of the devices becomes almost impossible. The crux of the matter is how to develop a policy that does not throw the baby out with the bath water that is not to ban them outright but how to monitor students who use laptops for learning versus those who use them for other purposes.