But professors who have banned laptops from their classes say there is no going back. Classroom discussions suddenly come alive when the laptops are gone, they say.
"If half the people are checked out, then the conversation just isn't going to be as rich," says David D. Cole, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
Apart from the problem of Web surfing, Mr. Cole and other professors say, laptops encourage students to become mindless stenographers during class. Since taking notes with a computer keyboard is much faster than with pen and paper, students busily take down every word uttered by professors instead of carefully listening and selecting the important points to put into writing.
A lot of us have been saying this for a long time now, but if the law school professors say it, it must be true.