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Estonian Tech University Bans Notebooks and Smartphones 134

Posted by timothy
from the also-pencils dept.
J-Georg writes "In Estonia's Tallinn University of Technology, all electronic devices — like notebooks, tablets and smartphones — are now banned in lectures held by the Institute of Public Administration. The restriction, which according to the institute aims to reduce factors interfering with academic work, came as a surprise to most of the university-goers. Moreover, it came just a day before the country's Ministry of Education announced a plan that by 2020 all textbooks and other literature would be turned into e-books and in eight years students are expected to start using computers and tablets to access study materials."
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Estonian Tech University Bans Notebooks and Smartphones

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  • Notebook??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @09:51AM (#38902315)

    If students didn't have them or smart phones, they'd be doodling, spacing out, sleeping in class as well. It is just a diversion.

    Dude it has been shown that doodling enhances absorption and recall on information, but distracted multi tasking decreases it.

    Also since when do we say notebook in a headline and have everyone read it and think laptop not paper notebook.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday February 02, 2012 @09:52AM (#38902325)

    Yeah, there's been dozens of people who've noticed that the university lecture is a really poor way of conveying information, which maybe suited a bunch of philosophy students gathering to hear Hegel hold forth at length, but not much else. But, nobody has come up with a way of doing it better that fits existing economic/institutional constraints. More interactive classes require higher teacher:student ratios and better teachers (uni professors' incentives don't favor good teaching, since they're judged approximately 5-15% on teaching, 85-95% on research), and are more difficult to plan. I still think Seymour Papert was at least partly on the right track.

  • by houghi (78078) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @10:07AM (#38902471)

    Now, the reasonable, sane way to deal with this would be for the professor to pause briefly and say [...]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqXS9m6aiyk

    Unfortunatly nowadays just telling the students will have them answwr "Why, there is no rule that I must do that." and continue to disturb all of the class. Then the parents come and say the same thing. A bit like this [blogspot.com] as people can not acceopt that their kid could be doing anything wrong.

  • by VAElynx (2001046) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @10:35AM (#38902695)
    Entirely this.
    I'm an engineering student and I have noticed that most of the time, the general theorem that applies is that the interestingness of lecture is inversely proportional to the technologic level used.
    In other words, someone in the theatre who'll use blackboard/scribbled projection tend to be almost universally amazing, those that use common "fill in gaps" projections tend to be OK , and lecturers using powerpoint tend to be the "gouge out eyes" sort of boring.
  • Re:Understandable. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @10:39AM (#38902727)

    I went to college in the mid 80's. there were microcassette recorders and that's about it for 'electronic gizmos' you'd take to class.

    just now I was reading fark and saw a posting from someone who is IN CLASS right now and posting/laughing. while in class.

    I know you young hipsters think its right and proper, but I do fear for the educational quality (and attentiveness/concentration!) of this current and all following generations. I'd be willing to bet that you are getting half or less of the education you are (over)paying for.

    if you are going to chat online, why the hell waste money on school, then? just sit in a coffee house and be done with it.

    I do think its rude to hear clicking or typing and *especially* laughing while the prof is talking.

    hell, I get annoyed when I'm talking to a college-aged friend of mine and he starts tapping on his while while *I'm* talking TO HIM.

    rude rude rude.

    "gimme my stimulus and fuck everyone else!"

    I do cry for this generation. they have no idea at all what they are doing. none.

  • by Loughla (2531696) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @10:49AM (#38902843)
    Exactly - it's not that the students do not understand that what is happening is wrong, it's that they feel that they are allowed, unless there is a rule against it. When you combine that with parents that assume the perfect little sweety can't be at fault, you have a recipe for disaster. I'm not that old (37), I still remember grade-school. When the teacher sent a note home, my parents would schedule a meeting with that teacher. This meeting was to discuss what **I** did wrong, what **THEY** could do better, and what the **TEACHER** would do after s/he saw progress. Now, in the 6th grade class I teach (I'm home sick today before you jump on me about my time-stamp), when I send a note home. . . . The parents still set a meeting up, but it's to discuss what **I'm** doing wrong, what **I** will do for them, and what part of the class **I** will change to make their child's life better. I'm not saying that my classroom is a locked down police state, or that I never change my teaching tactics to suit an individual or an individual class. What I am saying is that I am disinclined to change my basic practices, based on my 15 years of experience, two advanced degrees and years of experience as a mentor teacher, just to suit the views of a twelve year old whose has parents that won't stand up to him/her. What I am saying is that there is a reason that schools have zero-tolerance policies. The people that make the policies understand that zero-tolerance on anything usually leads to more problems. They have read the research that says that zero-tolerance doesn't work. They've cited these studies. They understand most of the factors (at least in my experience). BUT, they are going through the forced motions of appeasing the knee-jerk reaction of the loudest group around, no matter what that group is or what their agenda is. Now, in the specific case of the school in this article, maybe not - there probably is a better way to go about it. But, in 99% of cases where you see a school set a zero tolerance policy, it is in response to PUBLIC outcry. So, when this zero-tolerance policy bites the PUBLIC on the ass, why do we ask for the school leaders or teachers to resign, instead of asking for the parents to resign?

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