Laptops in the Classroom

Lincoln Spector, The Industry Standard 03.16.2009

Are laptops a useful and appropriate tool in college lecture halls, or are they a grade-lowering distraction?

Diane Sieber, an Associate Professor University of Colorado at Boulder, believes that laptops do harm grades. According to an article in the Daily Camera, she told 17 of her students who used their laptops “intensely” that they performed an average of 11 percent worse than classmates who were not using laptops. After making this announcement, “the number of students on laptops eventually dwindled to a half dozen, and the test scores of students who stopped using their computers during class shot up.”