I read an interesting article on-line today, “Laptops in classrooms not working out as hoped” by Gary McWilliams. This was published in the Wall Street Journal on October 14, 2005. It basically describes how faculty that are teaching in classrooms that have wireless Internet access are finding it difficult to keep the student’s attention.
“While Prof. Adams lectures, five students use an online chat room to post comments on his lecture, on classroom stragglers, and on the meaning of his discussion questions. Another student spends nearly two-thirds of the three-hour class playing computer chess, instant messaging and viewing photos of a fraternity party posted on the Web. Meanwhile, 23-year-old Mike Fielden buys a pair of sneakers on eBay.”
I haven’t had the privileged yet to try and instruct in a wireless classroom. Our campus has not rolled out wireless campus wide. We’ve talked about setting up a wireless network in our yet to be instruction room. However, I intend to make sure that the room is set up so that students will have less opportunity to IM or buy sneakers on eBay.