Suffolk University Law Professor Steven Eisenstat recently wrote an article arguing for the ban of laptops in law classes. He relies heavily on a study of UCLA & Princeton students that demonstrated that their comprehension and retention suffers when taking notes in class with a laptop, even without internet access.
The idea of banning laptops in classrooms has long been gaining momentum, and Professor Eisenstat maintains that other law professors need to cast aside the fear of students protesting a ban. In fact, Professor Eisenstat has found that while a laptop ban is at first unpopular in the courses he teaches, there is a significant rise in support of the ban by the end of the semester.
It is hard to imagine grinding through a difficult property lecture without the distraction of social media or my fantasy football team. In hindsight, however, it would have been a good idea to turn off the laptop when my property professor introduced the Rule Against Perpetuities. If you choose to use a laptop during class, then you may be interested in a recent blog post by Gallagher Law Librarian Mary Whisner about tips on controlling internet distractions.
Graphic: “Mac for every student” by Luc Legay. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0). Accessed February 15, 2015. < https://www.flickr.com/photos/luc/2944876508/>.