To be a little fair to Cole, he does report survey results:
How does banning laptops work in practice? My own sense has been that my class is much more engaged than recent past classes. I'm biased, I know. So I conducted an anonymous survey of my students after about six weeks -- by computer, of course.Assuming no defects in the survey -- actually, I'd like to see the whole thing -- I wonder why students don't voluntarily set the laptops aside if they are so happy without them? Are they helpless addicts who require compulsory rules to do what they want to do? Or do they like the exclusion of tools they worry that other students might be using more effectively? Maybe the 30 percent who don't like the no-laptop policy are ace note-takers on the keyboard who feel awkward and disabled handling a pen.
The results were striking. About 80 percent reported that they are more engaged in class discussion when they are laptop-free. Seventy percent said that, on balance, they liked the no-laptop policy. And perhaps most surprising, 95 percent admitted that they use their laptops in class for "purposes other than taking notes, such as surfing the Web, checking e-mail, instant messaging and the like." Ninety-eight percent reported seeing fellow students do the same.
Why are law types so fond of rules and repression? It makes me sick.