La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Required reading for university students

While I really disagree with some of this blog's posts (as discussed here), this one has a good warning for students today. I find that too many students feel they can effectively multi-task, that somehow multi-tasking makes them work better. Instead, I've found that students with laptops, especially in my grad methods class, tend to have more problems with the material. Or maybe the effect is spurious--they are on their laptops because they have already disengaged from the material.

In any case, I find that students have very poor poker faces when it comes to recreational surfing during class. The amused faces they make while browsing Facebook, YouTube, or their email are clearly not timed to match my occasional in-class wit.

At GT, apparently more faculty are banning laptops from class. This will be the policy in my methods class this fall, especially since very few (if no) students would be able to really efficiently take stats notes on their laptops, given the need for special characters. And, I give them handouts with the slides every week so they don't have to copy equations but can take notes around them.

I still haven't decided about my two summer school classes that start June 16.

posted by Michelle @ 10:55 AM,


At 8/05/2008 9:45 PM, Blogger Elenamary said...

as a student, I LOVE the students who text their phones, who play on their laptops, who are oblivious to everything around them. They make me look good without even trying. I've found that as long as I make eye contact with a professor, face the direction there standing in, and nod and smile as appropriate I am going to do just fine in a class...especially a class filled with people looking at their facebook page.


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