Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Computers in Class

Today I'm trying an experiment. I've noticed that in my large lecture classes, the number of laptops present has been rising as the term goes on. I've never brought a computer to class before, so here's a play-by-play of my first class digitally "taking notes." This is for all the students out there who are considering hauling a computer around but never have. So pay attention.

9:52- I show up early. I already feel more productive.

10:03- The professor's not here yet. Maybe this computer thing really is worth looking into.

10:04- I'm becoming paranoid that people sitting behind me (yeah, you, girl in the black jacket) and in the balcony are staring at my computer screen and my awesome OIT-supplied background picture of Nassau Hall. Maybe I shouldn't have sat in the front and center of the (enormous) classroom. I dim the computer screen to deter prying eyes.

10:05- The professor's here, looking and sounding slightly flustered. Maybe it's the vast multitude of computers staring back at the stage, and the corresponding eyes glued to the screens. "Printer trouble" sounds like an excuse, anyway.

10:12- I've determined that taking notes is more fun this way. But, contrary to what I expected, I feel even more compelled to pay attention, perhaps guilty for having my computer with me in the first place.

10:19- I notice that in the first three rows of the classroom, there are 11 students, and six laptops (my own included). Do 54.5% of students use a computer in class? (Really, this is a commentary on how cool it is that I can pull up the calculator application with such convenience, even in a very-non-QR class. How cool? Completely cool.)

10:26- I send an email. But I totally had to.

10:41- I'm still surprised. I haven't had the urge to go to, or even Facebook. More than I can say for the girl in front of me.

10:43- Class isn't over yet, but the verdict is in. Laptops in class are great. One can focus on their notes (typing makes the notes look more official, I decided), but also check email or other (purely academic, of course) sources during class when necessary. What a discovery.


Anonymous said...

waste of space?

Anonymous said...

Nope-- pretty funny if you ask me. Kudos to Gabe for getting some content on this blog!

Anonymous said...

waste of space.