Released today, the 2008 report by The Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) has demonstrated that students who use their laptops during class time to review previous lectures, take notes, and reference prepared materials are more likely to engage in classroom discussions, be prepared for class, and “synthesize materials across courses.”
Obviously, the focus here is on the usage of technology and not the specific device itself (watches make for tremendously bad colanders, for example). Case in point, the LSSSE study also concluded that students who used their laptops during class time to check email, browse the web, or instant message were much less disengaged during class than their peers.
In regards to technology for instructional purposes, the study illustrates the need for a greater focus on integrating appropriate technologies into classrooms that support and enable the behaviors that are the most beneficial to the instruction and learning process. This gels nicely with the college’s current Learning Community, which is seeking to assess the benefits and detriments of using SMART Sympodiums in classrooms on campus.
For more information on the 2008 LSSSE Study, visit http://www.lssse.iub.edu/index.cfm.