Monday, January 16, 2012

On Computers / WiFi in Class

It is so important to this professor that people only pay attention to him in all his narcissistic glory that he forced the class into a smaller room....

JUST so there is no wifi

Wouldn't it have been easier to stay in the large class and ban laptops? Or make it possible to jam wifi somehow? It can't be hard.

Or, you could just let the students decide. As I argued before.


Anonymous said...

I TAed for a professor last year that made us sit at the back of the classroom and monitor the laptop use. We were instructed to kick out anyone looking at Facebook, etc. People serially violated his policy, but we only kicked out 2 or so the entire semester.

Simon Spero said...

I wonder how many lecturers who are against the use of laptops this are worried about facebook, and how many are worried about scopus/google scholar or zotero/bibdesk?

In one's own field (or subfield), it's easy to spot bogus claims and know the studies and cites that rebut or refute them. The further towards the periphery of one's own knowledge one goes, the harder it is to tell why a statement doesn't sound right; without being able to chase down references, it can be hard to figure out whether the claim is wrong, or what questions to ask to find out why it is wrong.

Rooting around in three or four different handbooks is far more distracting, and much harder on the back.

Would not an optimal solution (subject to transaction costs) be to allow students and lecturers who do not wish to have laptops used in the class negotiate a price with those students for which they would be willing to forgo such use?

Until then, Make Mine Munger

[ In regards to the technical side: literal jamming is illegal, but there are well known techniques for taking down WIFI clients selectively, without jamming. Forcing deauthentication from the base station is the usual approach. This may be against OIT policy.

Disabling WIFI access won't block cellular data- this cannot legally be interfered with- however, if you have a SCIF the cell towers will not be reachable.]

Anonymous said...

A link in the article (to the Yale Daily News) says his course, intro to Art History, is the most popular course at Yale....