Today we’re having a discussion about students using laptops in the classroom. What policies do faculty on campus have? How has it worked in their classrooms? What can we learn from one another regarding this topic? I’ve included a few articles for context.

Note-Taking Strategies to Improve Learning“—The main take away is that rote transcription on a laptop does not lead to better retention of information. With the process of writing notes by hand “students are forced to process, condense, and use their own words,” which research has shown leads to better understanding of the material covered.

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard“—Similar to the previous article, but firmly rooted in psychological science.

Using Laptops Effectively in Your Classroom“—Provides five examples of how best to use laptops in the classroom. The main point is that there needs to be a pedagogical reason for the technology.

The Case for Banning Laptops in the Classroom“—New Yorker article about one professor’s experience, which again points to research on note taking.

Use of Laptops in the Classroom: Research and Best Practices“—Paper published by the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Teaching and Learning. Highlights the use of software called LectureTools and seems more relevant to larger lectures.

The following video was linked from the Teaching Center at Washington University in St. Louis, in a post titled “Laptop Use in Class: Effects on Learning and Attention.” The Center also published this wonderful guide on “Developing Course Policies on Laptops and Mobile Devices.”

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