Daily Archives: September 1, 2015

Banning Laptops–Solution or Neoluddism?

One area where HHD faculty and students sometimes clash is on the use of laptops and other technology in class. A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted why some faculty ask students to leave their laptops (and other devices) at home.  I wonder what HHD students think?

I have mixed feelings on the issue. I still usually take pen and pad to meetings, because I find I’m more focused and retain more from the meetings if I do that.  On the other hand, I find I end up doing double work, sometimes, because then I have to re-type my notes into a file or email to follow-up on tasks or communication from the meeting.  Of course, I also find that when I take my laptop, I often get distracted and don’t end up with the notes I needed to take to have good follow-up!

In the classroom, I do a lot of active learning.  It can be hard to get students to engage and discuss class material, if everyone is surfing the web (even if they are looking up things relevant to the topic).  While I don’t make an issue, since I think students need to be comfortable with their own style of productivity and engagement, there have definitely been times when i felt I needed to ban laptops.

I’d love to hear from students on this.  Should HHD faculty ban laptops? Share your thoughts here in the comments or send them to me through Twitter @DennisG_Shea with #PSUHHD.  We’ll discuss this question on my weekly Twitter Office Hours (Tweet-OHs) from 9-10 PM on Wednesday, Sept. 2