I'm one of those pre-iPad old farts that went to college back in the day (five years ago) when only a few nerds brought their laptops to class. Seriously, do you remember how heavy laptops were five years ago? Screw that. Writing notes in a notebook was all the rage back then. Rather than staring into the stupid, meaningless abyss of social media nothingness, we passed our time during boring lectures with crossword puzzles in the free student newspaper and sudoku. How times have changed.
A Canadian professor is cracking down hard on students who take their laptop to class these days to "type out their notes" or "follow along on Power Point," but really just spend their time on Facebook and Twitter. Here's the best part: He's making classmates snitch on those who aren't jotting down notes. The result is a very public shaming. The Toronto Star explains:
The business professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business quietly asked the tweeter to leave for the rest of the 90-minute class for breaking the pledge his students must take not to use laptops for anything but class work.
And it meant using another new pledge this frustrated teacher had students take this fall; to spy on a classmate’s screen, if asked, and report truthfully what they see.
By recruiting this new breed of screen snitches, Kim hopes to make digital distraction so socially awkward that students will close forbidden windows — Facebook, email, Sikh field hockey matches — and plug into class.
More details on the spying, via The Star:
He has had grad students spy on his undergrads’ screens from the back row, only to find just 10 to 20 per cent were open on class notes. The rest were on Facebook, Jersey Shore reruns, even sports video games.
“Since I banned laptops in class, I get twice as many compliments from students as complaints, because they say it’s less distracting for them. And I no longer face a wall of screens instead of students.”
Is a policy like this going to become the new norm?
Image via Buzzfeed