Found a HotAir link:
Hm… Because you’re in an industry (acadamia) where there is little to no competition, massive government subsidies, and top down authoritarian rule is accepted as the status quo? Every argument against laptops in classrooms is really just a cover up for telling other people how to make personal choices.
I cannot wait until these glorified nanny-classroom-babysitters are collectively tossed out on their rear ends. It’s already happening with online colleges and alternative education gaining traction.
I’m currently studying STEM (Science, Tech, Eng, Math). And in my most recent liberal arts class, the professor banned laptops and banned recording of the lectures. Not a single STEM class I have taken has had any such rules so far – in fact, most of my STEM professors have recorded the lectures and posted them online. Why? Because professors and students in STEM have too much real work to do, leaving no time to micromanage other people’s personal note taking choices.
I guessed before opening the article that the author, Tal Gross, wasn’t teaching something requiring any math at all… Go figure.
The only reason STEM degrees require a certain number of liberal arts classes is STEM students wouldn’t waste the time otherwise. Modern liberal arts classes are just dressed up propaganda – extremely subjective, left leaning, and taught by the most childish professors.
The author writes,
I’m not a Luddite. Without computers, I couldn’t do my own research. I spend all day in front of a computer. But the enormous, world-changing benefits of computers have to be weighed against the costs. We are becoming a distracted nation, constantly alt-tabbing to our e-mail and peeking at our phones. We should not be so quick to throw out our pens and pencils.
I don’t disagree with his reasoning that taking notes by hand may help students focus on the material. However, his conclusion that he should force his reasoning on everyone else is bogus. What about people who cannot take handwritten notes quickly? What about disabilities? What about people who are distracted when taking handwritten notes, but can focus while taking typed notes? What about the people who, without being able to take typed notes, will not take any notes at all?
He writes, further:
Class is supposed to be a conversation, not an exercise in dictation.
Do you heed your own words, Mr. Gross? By forcing your decision on everyone else, you are presuming that you possess perfect knowledge. This is the bogus assumption of every leftist – that they can make perfect decisions for everyone else. The love of theory is the root of all evil.
A great comment on the HotAir link:
Ignore it. He (or the government, or his parents) are paying. If he flunks, it’s not on you. If he passes, you’re probably unnecessary. 😉
ddrintn on January 4, 2015 at 9:45 PM
Thank you ddrintn!
There are too many busy-bodies in America, and not enough hard workers. This professor falls into the former category.
Banning laptops makes him feel like he is accomplishing something. A better option would be to write extended course notes, record extra videos on difficult subjects and post them to the course website, or write a crowd sourced book on the material, all for the benefit of the students. My professors have done all of the above, and each resource was extremely useful.
In fact, since I’m a visual learner I get more out of the extra materials provided by the professor than the lecture itself. (Since the lecture is mainly an auditory experience) And in some classes, I will skip lecture, and instead watch the recording at 2x or 3x speed, such that the rate of information keeps me from falling asleep. Or, I skip the lecture and instead read the course notes and course text (and take notes on both). This revelation would probably horrify Mr. Gross – how dare I deprive myself of the “traditional classroom experience!” But I received an “A” by adjusting my methods to fit my learning style.
Instead of putting in more effort to help students with all learning preferences, Mr. Gross would rather dictate their personal choices, and join an echo chamber at the Washington Post. This makes him feel like he is accomplishing something, when it is all just hot air.