Law in the Internet Society

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AlexandraRosenFirstEssay 3 - 11 Nov 2015 - Main.EbenMoglen
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 Despite continued commentary and evidence challenging the continued invasion of laptops into classrooms (particularly higher education classrooms), the reality is that the prevalence of laptops and similar personal computing technology is growing. In light of what appears to be the inevitable, how (and what) can we change to make the existence of laptops conducive to comprehensive learning in classrooms? First, we should work to create software that makes it easier and more conducive to take effective notes in class. Second, educators should adapt to changing times and cater the structure of their classes to positively integrate laptop use into classroom activities.

I find confusing the connection between the analysis, which seems directed at supporting the inference that personal workstations harm learning in classrooms, and the conclusion, which states without supporting the conclusion that teachers can change this by nmaking classes, in some unspecified way, different.

After teaching in four different decades, I do not believe that the learning styles of students have converged at all. Some students need to take notes. Some students, afforded the opportunity to make sound recordings and play them back, will do better than they would do by taking notes. I never took notes of any form in classes: my memory served. By the time I was 20, it had not only served, it had grown more capacious and more powerful at the reception, analysis and memorization of spoken material than any other memory I've ever met. I never use either a notebook or a laptop computer, let alone a smartass phone or other personal surveillance device, during professional meetings or conversations outside my office. At most I make essential notes about critical commitments, promises, or contacts on a 3x5 card.

Naturally most of my students can 't and shouldn't work this way, and I wouldn't try to make them, even though I know that after five years' struggle they would be immensely more powerful as lawyers, readers, thinkers.

So if the goal is to make students change their learning styles, I am doubtful both as to theory and as to practicality. If on the other hand, we agree—and we do—that most students use digital technology very badly, why would we adjust the teaching to encourage the mistakes? Surely a third way presents itself?

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Revision 3r3 - 11 Nov 2015 - 16:05:50 - EbenMoglen
Revision 2r2 - 01 Nov 2015 - 19:33:32 - AlexandraRosen
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