The Laptop Problem

Professors at the University of Ottawa want to ban laptops from their classroom. According to a piece at CTV Ottawa:

The University of Ottawa is considering a proposal which would give its professors the power to ban laptops and other electronic devices in the classroom. Professors say everything from texting to time on Facebook is allowing their students to do everything but learn.

“They are distracted and we are competing with that for their attention,” says University of Ottawa professor Marcel Turcotte who voted in favour of the policy. Turcotte says the cost of “disctracted learning” is hefty when considering some students are losing out on a pricey education.

According to the piece the university will vote on giving the power to ban electronic devices in May.

Well obviously texting and Facebook can distract students. But why do professors need the “power” to do this?

It’s your classroom. You can set the rules for it. Just say students in your class can’t use electronic devices. Why is this controversial?

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer