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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ban Computers From Classrooms

Is It Time To Ban Computers From Classrooms?

Tania Lombrozo | July 11, 2016

Every semester, college instructors face a choice: whether to restrict the use of laptops and other devices in their classrooms or to, instead, let students decide for themselves.
And for classrooms that do allow devices, students face an ongoing set of choices: to take notes electronically or by hand, to check the textbook or the text message, to check Instagram or Twitter.
This bounty of choices, and the multitasking that often ensues, may be the very problem that drives some instructors to ban devices altogether. In fact, evidence suggests that computer-based multitasking can reduce student learning, not only for those students using devices but also for their distracted neighbors.

"Teaching Style, Not Computers, Appears To Be Biggest Factor In Classroom Distraction" Source: "The results from the study reveal that indeed students are off task in class; however, it is not as extensive as we thought, nor is it the population of students we thought it was (of course, this depends on whether you are an optimist or pessimist). Second-year students were off task the most time, at 42% of the entire semester. First-years were off task approximately 35% of the time for the semester while third-years spent approximately 28% of their class time off task. Regarding how many individual students were ON-task at a given instant, roughly 82% of third-years, 69% of first years, and 50% of second-years were NOT misusing their laptops (chart 1)."

<more at; related articles and links: (The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard. Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. Psychological Science, June 2014; vol. 25, 6: pp. 1159-1168. [Abstract: Taking notes on laptops rather than in longhand is increasingly common. Many researchers have suggested that laptop note taking is less effective than longhand note taking for learning. Prior studies have primarily focused on students’ capacity for multitasking and distraction when using laptops. The present research suggests that even when laptops are used solely to take notes, they may still be impairing learning because their use results in shallower processing. In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.]) and (The laptop and the lecture: The effects of multitasking in learning environments. Helene Hembrooke and Geri Gay. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, September 2003, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 46-64. [Abstract: The effects of multitasking in the classroom were investigated in students in an upper level Communications course. Two groups of students heard the same exact lecture and tested immediately following the lecture. One group of students was allowed to use their laptops to engage in browsing, search, and/or social computing behaviors during the lecture. Students in the second condition were asked to keep their laptops closed for the duration of the lecture. Students in the open laptop condition suffered decrements on traditional measures of memory for lecture content. A second experiment replicated the results of the first. Data were further analyzed by “browsing style.” Results are discussed from Lang’s Limited Process Capacity model in an attempt to better understand the mechanisms involved in the decrement.])>

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