Allison Birch ’13 fooled her professor and classmates in her BIOL0200 lecture yesterday: although she appeared to be studiously writing down Professor Ken Miller’s main points in her notebook, she was actually drafting a personal letter to a friend.
The revelation comes as one more in a trend of students being distracted by analog study methods. “Things like notebooks and pens can be incredibly useful educational tools,” said Dean Katherine Bergeron. “The trick is making sure students don’t become distracted by them in class.”
Harry Trill ’14 admits to also letting his attention wander on paper. “Even when I am taking notes, I usually have a game of tic-tac-toe or a doodle going in the background,” he said. “With such a world of possibility at your fingertips, it’s impossible not to multitask.”
Technology purists have lamented paper’s increasing presence in the classroom. Darryl Evanson ’13, who refuses to make the change from his MacBook Pro, concedes that notebooks do have useful features, such as unlimited battery life and a highly responsive touch-screen and stylus system, but maintains that they ultimately do more harm than good. “Moving away from our trusty laptops is a foolish move that will hinder student engagement,” Evanson said.
“With Facebook. I meant engagement with Facebook.”