Interesting thoughts from an academic who banned laptops from his classroom:
The problem is not just that laptops provide an outlet for boredom. After all, distraction was just as much a problem in Aristotle’s day as in ours. Laptops also have a negative effect on the more attentive students, many of whom compulsively transcribe every utterance out of my mouth onto their keyboards. I’ve even had some students who type notes and use a digital voice recorder to make sure they don’t miss a word. While this flatters the professorial ego, it risks ruining the whole point of the lecture format. Since we can type faster than we write, this completist exercise in documenting lectures simply becomes a mindless form of data acquisition. The essential skill of discernment, of determining what is important and what is not, gets lost in a world of students turned secretaries, dutifully taking dictation.