Laptop use in class is inconsiderate to profs

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Frustrated profs consider laptop ban”
March 5, 2008

To the editor:
According to the editor, it is up to me to learn how to tune out annoyances. That’s the thing: laptop users who abuse the web during class time do not disturb me with what they are doing. I can block them out.

I don’t really care about Tetris games and I can go check Perez Hilton right after class. However, it is the general principle that makes me seethe: laptop abuse during class is blatantly rude.

I accept that certain disabled students rely on their laptops, as do students in particular disciplines. But as for the rest of you: you can’t write fast enough? Tough luck. Learn short-hand.

For over a century, Western students seemed to find a way to keep up. Furthermore, if your attention span is so short that you can’t pay attention in a 50-minute lecture, what are you doing here?

I am sure the history of lecturing goes hand-in-hand with a history of distraction. But at least back in the day if someone wrote a note to a friend, or doodled in their paper margins, it was a fairly covert operation.

Laptops are only part of a bigger problem. We are facing an inconsiderate pandemic that reaches outside the classroom. After attending Western for five years, I have noticed the younger the crowd gets, the more the university is being treated like one big high school.

Yes, a huge expensive high school where adolescents live their normal, self-absorbed lives with better facilities. Have there not been some recent letters of annoyance regarding student groups in the University Community Centre?

And seriously, by March we should not have to hear “move up the stairs” from the bus driver. This is a place of higher education. What happened to the higher level of respect that goes along with that?

Back to laptops: I don’t know why professors don’t speak out against them. If I was a prof, I know I would. I would not be able to stand the daily disrespect.

I would hate being paid to be ignored after dedicating years of my life to my field. I don’t think I could wrap my head around the fact that it was more important for a student of mine to see which 12 pictures he/she was tagged in than to listen to my lecture.
"Lindsay Jackson
Honours Specialization in History V

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