You put your laptop in, you take your laptop out, and shake it all about
The ink has hardly dried on one of my recent posts about learning technology in higher education (OK, the ink doesn’t have to dry much in this business, but I like the occasional rhetorical flourish) when I read about an American professor who is banning all laptops from his classes. So what is he then, some sort of Luddite? No, not necessarily. He believes to have found that laptops during lectures (and other events, including external ones) reduce productivity and compromise student exam answers.
I cannot help thinking that it might have been better to offer instruction on how to navigate in the online world, rather than attempt to take the whole computing business out of higher education. While it may well be true that laptops with their multiple uses can distract, it would seem to me that preparing the students properly would help higher education rather more. As other devices (such as the iPad) take the place of laptops, we must be imaginative in integrating these into the fabric of learning. But trying to make the technology go away is probably not the wisest approach.