Thursday, March 31, 2005

Wireless Internet in Law School Re-visited

Generally I don't like to write about topics I have already written about but this topic just won't go away. I wrote a post about my thoughts about how teachers are making way too big of a deal about the "problem" of having wireless internet in the classrooms here. Now after this past week I think the issue has gotten even worse if you can believe that.

I will preface this by saying that I was only party to one of these events and not the other so my information comes second hand but I'm sure it's true since I've heard it from a lot of different people who were there. Again it seems like this is an us against them topic about whether using the internet is distracting in class (teacher's main argument) or whether the teachers should make the class more interesting (my argument). Here are two events that I personally think are very distracting about this insane debate about a dumb topic.

Yesterday in one of my classes a teacher came in and talked about the things we would be doing in class on Friday. He mentioned something about speaking and then went out of his way to say something along the lines of "now I've noticed all the laptops in our class and all the internet that gets used so I figured we would put it to good use and have you 'google' some topics to answer questions on a worksheet." Now this is strictly busy work. I did not come to law school to learn how to google, I already know how to do that as evidenced by this video. I think that by bringing this topic up again and again (by the way this was the same teacher that tried to "catch" us in the act by coming to the back of the classroom that inspired my first post) it causes more distraction than anything I can pull up on my computer while surfing the internet. Like I said before, I think law students are old and mature enough to ignore what ESPN article I'm reading or what I'm posting about. However, as a teacher the focus is on you (since you are the teacher)and when you do stupid shit like coming to the back of the classroom you are bound to distract everyone in the classroom no matter how mature the student.

The other event happened on Tuesday in one of my friend's classes. Apparently a student was smiling or chuckling at something that was typed by another student's laptop in the back of the room and the teacher just lost and asked things like "Is something funny? Is there something on that laptop that is funny? You know this is a big topic right now in the law school and they might take away the internet because of instances like these." ARE YOU SERIOUS?

You are going to stop midway through a class to call out a student who laughed at something typed in a word document so it wasn't even a wireless internet "distraction". From what I heard the teacher was uber pissed and kinda chewed the student out for a while, went to the board to go back to teach and then turned back around and went after the same student again. Now, I understand, somewhat, the frustration of some teachers who work hard to prepare for class and then find out that someone isn't completely engaged in the topic of discussion, but to sit there in the middle of class and fly off the handle for a good 5-10 minutes in the middle of class is unprofessional and just dumb. Swallow your damn ego and understand that some of the shit that you might think is God's gift to law might not interest someone else. I personally enjoy tax law but I'm not dumb enough to pretend everyone else will have the same infatuation with the IRC that I have. You made the argument about laptops and wireless internet being distracting in class, well what do you think your actions did to your class and credibility? Do you think the students in class went home that afternoon after class and thought about the particular case you were talking about in class or do you think they were talking about their psycho teacher that flipped out at a student for some dumb reason? What do you think the students in your class are going to be thinking about next time they walk into your class? I can promise you it won't be about last night's reading, I'm sure they'll be thinking about "I wonder if she's going to freak out again today." If it bothered you that much, you should have caught the student after class and spoken to him in private.

Why do teachers have the need to tell us that they know that we surf the internet during class and why do they have this vendetta to come and "catch" us in the act? Do you not think this is more distracting than me checking out my fantasy league team? Get over this damn topic because the more you teachers make this out to be a big deal, the more distracting it will be.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that kid really had it coming and the teach was totally in the right. I hate you jerks in my classes always fooling around while I'm trying to listen to a nice lecture I actually pay to hear.

9:53 PM  

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