Thursday, April 10, 2008

Computers in the Classroom

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin is reporting today that the University of Chicago Law School "has removed Internet access in most of its classrooms because of a growing problem of students surfing the Web on laptops during lectures." 

The issue is certainly one that encourages and deserves debate.  I have noticed that attorneys often check their Blackberries during meetings and even during contract negotiations, where inattention to detail may later disadvantage a client when the contract terms are not as favorable as they should be.  For example, one attorney said that he was able to negotiate a great contract for his client because the other side was too busy checking their email messages to realize what was going on.

There are, of course, appropriate uses for Internet in the legal writing and research classroom, particularly when so much of legal research today is electronically based.  The balance of how much internet access a school should allow is likely to be a question we'll be talking about for some time.

Your views? 

Hat tip to my colleague Tim O'Neill for sharing the article.

(mew)

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Comments

Gosh, now I am feeling guilty because I finally succumbed and bought my first PDA-type phone today. I will attempt to resist the temptation to surf, which will be particularly difficult during faculty meetings.

Posted by: Coleen Barger | Apr 10, 2008 8:38:23 PM

It's true. I stopped brining my laptop to class b/c I knew that I couldn't resist the temptation of surfing the net.

Posted by: homeinkabul | Apr 10, 2008 11:12:51 PM

I'm a little offended when someone I'm meeting with pulls out a blackberry to check emails. IMHO, it's comparable to making a cell-phone call while in the middle of a conversation.

Of course, there are times when someone is in such demand that s/he really needs to check any incoming messages. But an apology or explanation is then appropriate.

Posted by: John P. | Apr 11, 2008 7:27:53 AM

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