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Pick up the pen

I spotted this while travelling and I think it validates a lot of what people have been saying about how a tablet PC and pen is less psychologically intrusive. I type much faster than I write but I can't keep eye contact while I'm doing it as well so writing on screen let's me look as if I'm paying more attention. Decent note software like OneNote with the audio recording let's you think, secure in the knowledge that you can write down the key bits and your analysis but go back and listen to the whole thing if you need to.
June Entman, a law professor at the University of Memphis, has banned
laptops from her classes for first-year law students, telling them they
must take notes with pen and paper. "The computers interfere with
making eye contact," said Entman. "You've got this picket fence
between you and the students." She said she wants her students to spend
less time taking down everything she says and spend time "thinking and
analyzing" instead.
USA Today, 21 March 2006



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
23rd Apr, 2006 11:07 (UTC)
I would be one seriously pissed off student. I can type far easier than I write, and I don't have any difficulty keeping eye contact thank you. It's called touch typing.

And I also remember the days when I took lectures long hand. It was still straight from their mouth to my page without ever touching brain, You become analytical as a process of learning, not because your tools change.
23rd Apr, 2006 11:22 (UTC)
they were pissed off all right - they appealed to the american bar Association!

I do find writing forces me to think as I go along *because* I can't write it all down so I have to interpret or summarise. Plus i can do diagrams and apply flags and emphasis. I do hope she tried other methods of changing their lecture habits before resorting to this. A computer, whatever the interface, is a pretty standard part of student equipment now I should think.
23rd Apr, 2006 13:26 (UTC)
Perhaps she doesn't realise that some people simply can't write -- the mechanics of using pen-and-paper is crippling. I can write about twenty or thirty words longhand before my hand seizes up, but I can type continuously for several hours.
23rd Apr, 2006 19:32 (UTC)
And some people have a much easier time typing for other reasons -- like an autistic friend of mine, or a blind student. In a case of "her vs ADA" she'd lose.

I also found that I spent 99% of my time in lectures writing, and no time at all "thinking and analysing".

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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