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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Law Versus Lapsters

File this under "Luddite:" A professor of law at the University of Memphis has banned laptops from her class, claiming they create a "picket fence" between student and teacher. According to the Associated Press (here), she sent an e-mail to her students at the beginning of the semester advising students to pack paper and pencil for her lectures, citing the "distraction" caused by lappies. Apparently, June Entman feels that U of Memphis Tigers who use lapsters focus on transcribing her lectures, rather than applying any sort of critical thinking.

Presumably, the professor doesn't post her lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, or (gasp) a podcast of her lectures, either. Because, really, students should be focused on doodling, paper airplanes, or passing notes, and not on capturing any of the information digitally. Maybe she should advocate stone as the preferred note-taking medium, given its' durability advantage over papyrus.

On the off chance that Professor June F. Entman, faculty member at the University of Memphis since 1984, actually checks her e-mail, some of the more vocal students of "Generation i" might want to appeal her decision. Apparently they tried lobbying for a summary ruling by the Law Department, to no avail. Perhaps personal appeals would have more effect. Assuming the good Professor checks her e-mail. Go Tigers! (And props to Manchester [IN] Community Schools for the perfect clip art.)

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