Chalk 'n' talk: Laptop learning
Laptop learning has been all the rage for some time now. But now my campus sources tell me that the backlash is beginning.
Increasingly, lecturers are grumbling that students who are supposed to be taking notes on the electronic gizmos are actually posting saucy pictures on Facebook, playing World of Warcraft with their pals, or watching videos of dancing pigs on YouTube. Allan Rubin, a professor of geo-sciences at Princeton University, banned laptops in his class on natural disasters after finding out that some impertinent scholars were playing online poker.
Kieran Mullen, a science lecturer at the University of Oklahoma, went one better.
He took a student's laptop, froze it in liquid nitrogen and then smashed it up, in a videotaped scene later broadcast on the Net. The academic said the laptop was provided by a willing student. Happily, Dr Mullen reports that his students have paid greater attention since his Luddite demonstration.