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October 18, 2005

The Flip Side of Laptops as a Classroom Tool

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free, subscription required) is reporting an interesting story about laptops in the classroom as a distraction to learning rather than a help.  Apparently, some students do not use their laptops to take notes but instead surf the Internet, use email, visit chat rooms, or perform other tasks not related to the lecture.  The article discusses behavior at Georgia State University and the University of Georgia in undergraduate classes.

The article references a study by Helene Hembrooke and Geri Gay in which students were divided into groups and listened to the same lecture.  One group was allowed to use laptops and the other group kept their machines closed.  According to the abstract, "Students in the open laptop condition suffered decrements on traditional measures of memory for lecture content."

Who would have thought that students would use their laptops for non-educational uses in class? 

October 18, 2005 | Permalink

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