We Built It, Now Don't Come?
One professor at Harvard Law School who, perhaps not coincidentally, teaches a class on capital punishment, decided to ban laptops (their word, not mine) altogether. Professors at Bentley College apparently can turn off Internet access at will.
Well, these are private institutions and can do what they want. Some students have responded by bypassing the campus network and using another wireless net. But I think the lesson here should be one of individual responsibility, which I assume is also still important in a university setting.
Just as those of us in the real world can goof off all day looking at sites that have nothing to do with work, I suppose we should accept similar behavior from some students who, after all, are paying big bucks to goof off and therefore (unlike the rest of us) deserve some leeway. They need to be judged, just like in the real world, on the results they produce, not the methodologies they employ to get those results (assuming said process is, of course, legal, moral, and ethical). And that process might involve, as it often does for me, real-time research via the Web. So, big expensive universities, turn the Web back on. You may not know it, but some of those "laptops" in class are actually being used for education.
— Craig Mathias is Principal Analyst at the Farpoint Group , an advisory firm specializing in wireless communications and mobile computing. Special to Unstrung