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Tar Heel Pundits
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Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Laptops in the Classroom

I wanted to respond to a post by Professor Cooper about laptops in the classroom last week, but have not had the time to sit down and write something out until today. (Disclaimer: I do not take notes on a laptop but I did use my father's laptop take my exams last year, and that is something I would recommend to every law student out there.) I would say between a third and a half of people in my law school classes use laptops to take notes. Last year, when I was a 1L, a lot of the students played solitaire, minesweeper, and other computer games in class. That is definitely not the case this year. I sit toward the back of the room in most of my classes (average size for them is around 60), and have been looking to see who is playing games since I read Professor Cooper's post. This year, practically no one is playing games during class. I can only think of three or four times when I have seen a 2L or 3L playing a game while the professor is lecturing.

This may have something to do with the nature of 2L and 3L classes. We are covering the amount of material in 3 hours this semester that we used 6 hours to cover last year in a lot of my courses (Property, Contracts, Torts, and Civil Procedure). Since we have to move faster in class, there is less time for a student to daydream before he or she becomes completely lost. Consequently, the student does not have time to mess around with computer games without wasting an entire class period, and since classes are more valuable as a 2L or 3L, wasting a class is a luxury most people cannot afford.

Then again, I could be wrong, especially since I have some really interesting professors this semester.

posted by John Branch @ 11:08 PM

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