romothesavior wrote:While I am pretty sympathetic to the "It's our legal eduction, we should allowed to zone out if we want to" argument, I am starting to see the prof argument from a different angle. Even if a student uses a laptop exclusively for note-taking, it distracts from their ability to learn because a lot of students turn into little typing zombies... they are more like court reporters than engaged law students.
I've only had one day of classes, and we had students typing almost every word that came out of the prof's mouth. They made zero attempt to discriminate between what was important and what was not. I wanted to lean over and be like, "You do realize that very little of this will actually help you in your notes... you should try to pay attention" but hey, if they want to zone out and transcribe every word, go for it.
Oo, hey, I forgot that point - with laptops everyone takes notes without digesting. You can type faster than the professor can speak so you're taking it all down. Handwritten you can't keep up so you don't try. Instead people tend to listen and write down a few key points. Rather than information going straight from the ears to the fingers it stops at the brain, pokes around a bit, and likely settles there.
Laptop users - admit it: there have been times you've realized that for the past X minutes you've kept complete notes yet had no clue what you'd written. You look up and are surprised to see something in your notes.
Lastly, to the "it's my money and I can learn how I want" point: well, not really. The classroom operates as the professor dictates. You're not paying to learn, you're paying for the privilege to learn. Many educators, and people in general, feel that laptops weaken the learning for everyone. Classes without them seem more dynamic. Sure, you feel you should be able to choose to learn with them and you're harming no one, but you're actually harming the experience for everyone in the room.
Those of you that have taken classes with or without and can subjectively think about whether it made a difference, not in how you enjoyed the class but how much you learned.
I agree that any school not letting you use SecurExam on finals is barbaric, but do any exist? Might be worth handwriting one or two, though, in certain jurisdictions. One of my bar exams didn't let us use laptops, and holy shit, after two previous days of exams spending one handwriting was far more painful than expected. The other state let us use laptops, but a few kids had their essays eaten. Sure, they were eventually recovered, but to flip back two essays to review what you wrote only to find a blank page? That'll ruin your mindset for the rest of the exams.