I just finished reading About those laptops and I have to agree with Brian Voss:
"I'd say banning laptops or shutting off wireless on demand is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater," says Brian D. Voss, chief information officer at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. "Both are draconian solutions to a problem that requires something a bit more diplomatic."
I've known Brian for twenty years or more -- since he was first hired by Indiana University, long before he left for warmer climes. But enough about Brian. The point of this article ought to be clear enough, even though the title itself is not all that indicative of the point.
Information Technology does not provide solutions -- it provides tools! Tools, in the wrong hands, are worse than useless. If educators want to engage their students they need to learn to use the tools their students use. If they need to set rules for classroom use of technology, fine -- but to ignore the technology -- or worse, to use the technology as an excuse for their inability to reach their students, is a sign of laziness -- not technology out of control, as many would like you to believe.
As with any other tool, the user is accountable for its proper use. The technology permits educators to reach students in ways never before possible. If they don't leverage the technology to their advantage they do their students a disservice to as well as themselves. It's time for educators to learn to use the tools of their trade to educate their students.