Education Opinion

Beyond the Laptop Debate

By Justin Reich — March 10, 2015 1 min read

My colleague Michael Friedman, a HILT research fellow at Harvard, has a post in Inside Higher Ed this week on “Beyond the Laptop Debate” where he summarizes some of his thoughts on whether or not to allow laptops in classrooms. Mike’s thoughts are informed by some research he’s been doing on student note-taking behavior and its effects on classroom practice. He finds some evidence of a positive correlation between GPA and long-hand note-taking, but he’s as interested in student autonomy as he is in student agency.

Mike reframes the debate from the effects on laptops on student learning to the effect of choice on student learning:

Ultimately, Dr. Holstead's article raises an important point beyond the laptop debate: do we want to impose specific policies on students to optimize their learning and long-term retention, or do we want students to optimize their learning by showing them the evidence and letting them figure out what works best for them? Even if students make the wrong choices, they may be more motivated learners if they have the autonomy to decide for themselves.

Mike concludes:

In the current landscape where blended and online courses are becoming increasingly common, the need for students to self-regulate and optimize their own learning is now more important than ever.

The full article includes a list of suggestions for students and teachers, and further consideration of the merits of choice and efficacy, and it is worth reading.

For regular updates, follow me on Twitter at @bjfr and for my publications, C.V., and online portfolio, visit EdTechResearcher.

The opinions expressed in EdTech Researcher are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read