Temple University School of Law Professor Kristen Murray has just posted an article on the Legal Scholarship Network entitled "Let Them Use Laptops: Debunking the Assumptions Underlying the Debate Over Laptops in the Classroom."
The article posits that much of the debate over laptop use has been based on assumptions that don’t hold up under scrutiny. These "laptop myths" are that:
students use laptops to take transcript-style notes
laptops in the classroom lead to decreased class participation
students use laptops primarily as tools of distraction in the classroom
students make educated decisions regarding technology and classroom learning
professors have developed sufficient measures to evaluate the outcome of classroom laptop bans
Through surveys of current law students and their laptop usage, the author found that many of these assumptions are untrue and that students are using their laptops productively during class. She concludes that professors should allow students to use laptops in class because laptops provide a tremendous opportunity to enhance student learning, and because the net benefit of allowing laptops outweighs any countervailing considerations. She also offers a number of alternative suggestions to all-out laptop bans.
Click here for the full article.