In yet another sign that Luddism is alive and well in academia (remember Lakehead University's silly WiFi ban?), the Associated Press has picked up on a disturbing "trend" of professors banning laptops in their classrooms. Unlike the WiFi brouhaha, which revolved around fears that the wireless signals might be dangerous, keeping laptops out of the lecture hall is seen as a way of forcing students to pay attention. The AP article cites several law school professors who have enacted the ban, including one whose inspiration came while serving as an expert witness in a trial, when he realized the court stenographer wasn't absorbing any of the content that he/she was transcribing. If you ask us, not only does this policy fail to address the root of a problem -- hey Prof, try making your classes more interesting if you want people to pay attention -- but considering what students are paying for a higher education these days, they should be allowed to lug a mainframe and three monitors to class if that's how they like to get their learnin' done.

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Professors banning in-class laptop use