Instead of taking notes on their laptops, college students in large lecture classes check their e-mail, exchange instant messages, watch YouTube videos and do a little online shopping, reports the Tampa Times.
Universities across the country have spent millions in recent years installing wireless Internet connections in their classrooms, touting Web access as a way to improve the learning experience. Law professors can direct students to legal briefs and case records online. Political science professors can show students campaign-related Web sites.
But even instructors who embrace the Web say students’ Internet surfing is becoming a major distraction. Many are now banning laptops or penalizing students caught misusing them.
A law professor suspects students of sending IMs to classmates mocking each others’ lame answers and passing notes by writing silly messages in large type that people behnd them can read.
While the economics professor discusses supply and demand, students can shop at Gap.com. When the psychology professor lectures about Freud’s Oedipal complex, students can look up anything from celebrity news to girls in bikinis.
A majority of college classrooms now have wireless networks.
Via The Ed Wonks.