Back to the future in the classroom

After the WiFi ban, it’s not surprising that certain profs have begun banning laptops in the classroom. Genius! I imagine that, to be fair, pens, paper and pencils will not be far off. Up next: metal detectors in the class for the sake of education — not safety!

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: (YC W18), Uber, Google.

2 thoughts on “Back to the future in the classroom”

  1. Hate to say it, but it’s a pretty good idea. If you’ve sat in the typical university class room lately, it’s not suprising to see students browsing the web or poking away at IM. I’ve seen students playing World of Warcraft or Half-life multiplayer over the school’s wireless network.

    It’s too bad because some students prefer taking notes using their laptops, but how to you stop the ones that aren’t paying attention?

    But contrary to how both you and Engadget spinned it, these profs aren’t fearing the rising tide of technology. hey’re just sick of students sitting in class and not paying attention, which brings the marks down when means profs have to lower the standards for passing. Means you employers are getting an increasingly smaller flow of increasingly less qualified new grads coming out of universities.

  2. Hmm. I dunno. I take your point and agree that it’s a valid response — but I think the problem is with our conception of education — if you’re not interested, you’re not interested, period. If you’d rather play video games than pay attention to the professor, your grades will suffer — and that shouldn’t be blamed on the teacher (interestingness issues aside).

    I would rather destroy the teacher-pupil model of education and put students in charge of their educations. I would rather see kids feel the pull of curiousity than have them be forced to take classes that they don’t care about.

    The sorry state of education in the US, at least, has to do with the relevance and enjoyment of education on both the part of students and educators. If you don’t care, you don’t care — and taking the laptops away won’t solve that.

    What with the flattening of the world and globalization, kids who can’t focus on their studies and and delve into education are going to be left behind — no matter what their parents pay for their education. That’s just how it is — survival of the engaged — obsolesence of the disinterested. Harsh, but hey, that’s reality and it’s only going to get harder the more we force people to conform to societal norms instead of figuring out for themselves what they need to do to compete in the global marketplace.

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