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UC Law bans classroom web access

I love having Internet access during my grad classes. I can get additional references for any information presented with a quick bit of Googling, I can examine alternate viewpoints, or I can look at last week's homework.
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Written by Christopher Dawson on

I love having Internet access during my grad classes. I can get additional references for any information presented with a quick bit of Googling, I can examine alternate viewpoints, or I can look at last week's homework. Of course, I can also check my email, write a blog post, or make dinner reservations.

The Internet is the world's biggest distraction as well as the most useful tool we could have at our fingertips. The University of Chicago Law School has banned this particular distraction during classes, but still allows students to bring laptops to class to take notes and consult work on their machines.

According to eSchoolNews,

"What makes our law school is our faculty," Peter Rock Ternes, a second-year Chicago law school student, said in a statement. "I think it makes sense to encourage focusing on them and on the classroom discussions."

Banning internet access in classrooms, Levmore said, would restore basic rules of politeness and professional etiquette between students and professors.

Given the choice, most students would rather be online; however, the policy (and others like it at schools around the country) hasn't met much resistance:

Many law schools have given professors the choice of banning wireless access or laptops altogether. A professor at Harvard Law School who did not want her name published in this article said disallowing laptops has cultivated class discussion and student participation.

"Students have never complained about it, and if anything, they say the classroom environment is vastly improved," the professor said. "And I find the students listen to each other more."

What do you think?

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