Interesting. Students were taking notes with laptops and a professor thought that this was getting in the way of active debate in class, so she banned them.
I totally agree. When I was at Bruce Eckel’s Open Spaces conference a month or so ago, we all left our laptops in our bags. I think that this was a HUGE factor in our interesting, interactive discussions. Face it. Computer laptop screens provide a barrier between people (we used to just have our sneakers to state at; now we have laptops). And they are INTERESTING barriers too. With the proliferation of Wi-Fi, you can often surf the web under the guise of “taking notes”. But even with that aside, the simple task of notetaking on the computer DOES get in the way, in my opinion. Somehow, paper and pencil doesn’t form that barrier between you and other people in the room, whereas the laptop screen does. Hmm. Interesting.