Sunday, April 13, 2008

The high schoolification of higher education: Chicago Law School edition

The Chicago Law School continues the trend: U of C Law School Takes Classrooms Out of the Internet Age

The University of Chicago Law School has removed Internet access in most of its classrooms because of a growing problem of students surfing the Web on laptops during lectures.

The reason cited was that students surfing the Web weren't learning as much. Of course, if learning was really the issue they might had better banned professors from lecturing, and insisted on more appropriate methods of instruction.

2 comments:

Bud said...

In some of our labs (I teach Computer Information Systems), it's possible to lock the computers to what is on the instructors' screen. I've seen this a few times, and I wonder what the value is.

I think there's an old model where faculty are the center of instruction. When I got my PhD at Carnegie Mellon, that was not the model at all. Herb Simon, who I had the luck to take a course with, would actually start the class by asking us to come up with questions that he would then proceed to craft a lecture around. Now more than a decade into my own teaching career, I interpret that as an act of survival on his part. It's the only way to keep life in things.

Translating that into the electronic age, I actually have students contributing electronically in class via blogs. Maybe next year we'll add twitter.

Kevin Gamble said...

That's very cool Bud.

If I was still teaching I'd want students to be challenging me, challenging each other... Doing fact-checking in class... I'd want my classes to approximate the real-world as much as possible. Live blogging would be excellent. Tweets too. Chatting with their friends. All would be allowed. It's all about conversation and engagement.

If the class was so boring that they were playing games... So be it. The students mental health is important too. :)