Symptomatic of the change I have made in the way I approach my classes was crystallized for me several months ago when a group of my favorite professor colleagues asserted that they now prohibit students using laptops during class sessions. Previously, I had done the same thing.
I meekly observed that I have decided to move in the opposite direction, intentionally building my classes around the use of student laptops to take advantage of the extraordinary riches--carefully chosen--of the Internet, that "virtual" knowledge which is available at their fingertips.
A prohibition of laptops represented--I will speak just for myself--my prior approach to teaching: professor-centered, lecture-oriented, cover-as-much-of-the-material-as-possible. Taking this approach, it made sense to remove the distraction for the student that his or her laptop represented. They would not be giving ME their full attention.
My feeling is one of being all alone. It is scary but somehow I feel it right for me at this stage of my career. I am certainly convinced it is right for my students. But I still am scared.
What is your reaction? Am I right to pursue my approach?