Skip to comments.Law Professor Bans Laptops in Class
Posted on 03/30/2006 3:21:01 AM PST by martin_fierro
Law Professor Bans Laptops in Class
Wed Mar 29, 8:21 AM ET
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A University of Memphis law professor has banned laptop computers from her classroom and her students are passing a petition against it.
Professor June Entman says her main concern is that students are so busy keyboarding they can't think and analyze what she's telling them.
Students have begun collecting signatures on petitions and tried unsuccessfully to file a complaint with the American Bar Association.
Student Cory Winsett says if he must continue without his laptop, he'll transfer to another school. Winsett says he won't be able to keep up if he has to rely on hand-written notes, which he says are incomplete and less organized.
June F. Entman
Professor of Law
Teaching interests: Civil Procedure, Advanced Civil Procedure, Evidence.
Education: B. A., 1967, Smith College; M. A. T., 1969, University of Chicago; J. D., May, 1981, The University of Memphis School of Law.
Experience: Associate, Burch, Porter & Johnson, Memphis, 1982-84; Law Clerk for Honorable Charles E. Nearn, Tennessee Court of Appeals, 1981-82; Social Studies teacher, 1968-75, New Trier High School, Northfield, Illinois; joined the University of Memphis School of Law faculty in 1984.
Achievements/Publications: Co-author with Robert Banks, Jr. of the treatise Tennessee Civil Procedure 1999. Professor Entman has authored several articles primarily in the areas of evidence and civil procedure for the Case Western Reserve Law Review, The University of Memphis Law Review, the North Carolina Law Review, the University of Florida Law Review, and the Tennessee Bar Journal; she has served as reporter for Tennessee Pattern Jury Instructions-Civil, 8 Tennessee Practice (2nd ed. 1988 & Supp. 1990); Tennessee Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution, 1992-94; Local Rules Advisory Committee, United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, 1989-92.
I liked the idea that 'typing' has now become 'keyboarding'. Nouns into verbs. Ho hum.
Why don't they sue?
Sure, they can sue the woman who wrote the book on state civil procedure.
And she'll have 'em tied up in Discovery motions until she -- or they -- are ready to retire.
Now the students have a choice -- they can switch to another section under a different prof, a different class, another school -- or not go to law school at all. In Illinois they could even still become lawyers WITHOUT going to law school. (Hooray for Illinois!)
The Professor's word is the LAW.
Good for the professor.
Do you have a source for this?
Molly Lien, Technocentrism and the Soul of the Common Law Lawyer, 48 Am. U. L. Rev. 85 (1998).
The students are the customers, purchasing instruction from the professor. If the university is a good vendor, it will instruct this wayward employee to give the customers the convenience they expect.
The little buggers are FReepin', I tell ya......
Winsett says he won't be able to keep up if he has to rely on hand-written notes, which he says are incomplete and less organized.
. . . which is why she should hand out notes on what she was going to say.
I think she is silly. I personally agree with her, but if the students are used to taking notes like that, then why deny them that? My husband is a professor and has learned not to do these stupid things when it aggrevates students. Many teachers ban cell phones, but he has a lot of adults with children taking his classes and doesn't want to deny them that. So he uses humor. When someone's cell phone goes off, he begins to dance to the music; it embarasses the students. Another teacher there has the student sing to the music for the class. You can do little things so that students get the idea. If these students think this is so important, let them do it.
Many, many years ago..during inorganic chem class frosh year of college..2nd lecture of the semester..taught, BTW..by a very distinguished professor, not a GA..50 or so in the lecture hall..he walks in..asks a question of the class..of course no one volunteers..he looks down at us..says.."either all of you are geniuses, and know all the material, and think the question is beneath you, or you are all cretins, and haven't bothered to even open the book. In either case, there's no point in wasting my time, and yours.."..and he walked out of the room..
needless to say..from that day forward..all of us were vigorous paticipants in the discussion.
No different than adding "tion" or "ion" onto a verb and making the verb a noun.... but that's off topic.
You are correct in the sense that there are students taking notes on a laptop who literally know no other way to do so. In other words, they will be caught in this professor's net. On the other hand, as Prof. Lien argues in her law review article (and I have observed myself), in a class where the professor is relying on the Socratic Method, the system nearly grinds to a halt because half the students are too busy taking dictation to participate.
"I liked the idea that 'typing' has now become 'keyboarding'. Nouns into verbs. Ho hum. "
That happened to barbecue a long time ago.
So keyboarding is the new typetion?
Golly gosh, no!
And there's a whole helluva lot of us that have one or more degrees and did it all with (OMG!) handwritten notes. My handwriting has never been legible since then. But I can read my writing, most of the time, as long as it hasn't been too long since I wrote it!
I thought the verb of 'barbecue' was 'cindering'.
Almost exactly backwards. In this case the vendor is always right, if you disagree you can quit or be pushed-out, and you'll still have to pay the bill.
Naturally, the next class he calls on me and I had not read the case for that day. I take a pass, and he proceeds to rail on me.
I should have included adding "ing" onto a verb to make it a noun:
Noun 1. typingtyping - writing done with a typewriter
writing - letters or symbols written or imprinted on a surface to represent the sounds or words of a language; "he turned the paper over so the writing wouldn't show"; "the doctor's writing was illegible"
double-spacing - typing that leaves alternate lines blank
single-spacing - typing that does not leave lines blank
triple-spacing - typing that leaves two lines blank between lines of typing
touch system, touch typing - typewriting in which the fingers are trained to hit particular keys; typist can read and type at the same time
That is simply not possible if the professor is teaching in a traditional, Socratic manner.
"You can do little things so that students get the idea"
Your husband is a good teacher.
I had a civics prof. who encouraged class particiaption and made like he was huffing on a joint every time he mentioned the term "~joint~ session of Congress".
It got to where he'd say "joint", motion the class to proceed and there'd be 60+ people acting like cheech and chong for about 5 seconds, then he'd continue "session of Congress".....
Interestingly enough, Molly Lien taught Civil Procedure, Legal Writing, and some other stuff.
"I thought the verb of 'barbecue' was 'cindering'. "
True, but that version is only used in the context of hapless and inept.
He is! And a great husband to boot! He's even a dem! But unlike too many political dems, he has a great sense of humor and uses it whenever he can. He can lighten any group if he feels like it. And he firmly believes that students learn a lot more if they are enjoying their education. I agree.
A friend with a teenage son, years ago, told me that the school the kid went to changed the name of the class to "keyboarding" specifically so boys would take it. "Typing" class sounded secretarial.
I don't know if I'd like to sit in a class
where there is a lot of typing noise.
My typing is quiet, but my son's is not.
Why aren't they using recorders and typing notes later?
I speak from firsthand experience....so guilty as charged.
This wouldn't be a bad idea for the corporate world either, too many folks panicking at emails (which will still be there when they can get back online) instead of providing ideas/debate in meetings.
I dropped out of law school when they told me I couldn't bring my thermos to class..........
Keyboarding is a 20 year old term around here.
That is simply not possible if the professor is teaching in a traditional, Socratic manner.
Civpro isn't really one of those classes that lends itself to the Socratic method....its more like math....you have a rule, and you learn the parameters of the rule (and, of course, how far you can bend the rule).
Legal writing is even more of a joke. I told my legal writing prof in lawschool that I had to unlearn everything I knew about writing to make her happy and ace her class.
Interestingly, legal writing is usually taught by the rookies...
My Legal Writing professor's response, when she learned I studied English, was "I'm sorry." (no joke).
The best writers (in terms of the grades they received) in my LW class were science majors.
I posting from my laptop in Trust & Wills RIGHT NOW! MUHUHAHAHAHAHA
Also, one of my profs also banned laptops in class, but it didn't make national headlines. It doesn't matter; instead of surfing the net during class, I drew pictures and wrote lame Haikus in my notebook.
The students should just bring small tape recorders to class and tape the lecture. Then they could type out their notes afterwards.
Yes, and then you have to "turn off" legal writing mode for everyday communication.
I've been known to confirm lunch arangements by responding to an e-mail:
"Yes, let's proceed as set forth below."
I'm not even a lawyer, but I do a lot of drafting. I really scared myself that time.
Which they are free to do or not do as they see fit.
If the university is a good vendor, it will instruct this wayward employee to give the customers the convenience they expect.
Alternately, they may back up their employee, agree that different teaching techniques can be useful and that she may have a point about their education being better doing it her way and the level of competency of the graduates will lead them to higher compensation and ultimately to increased business for the school. Long view verses short view.
Education is generally inconvenient in my experience.
Just a different view.
What a great idea!
Fair enough - but good vendors usually like to make things comfortable for clients who are spending large amounts of money.
Which makes me think of another question. Who actually is spending the money? The "clients" in the class, or the parents who are actually paying the bills? Getting their reaction might be more pertinient.
Hard to say. My wife paid for her law degree through personal loans, and I would guess that most of her classmates did as well. There were certainly some whose parents wrote a single check as well, though.
Now if we could only get some of the deadbeats among them to pay their student loans,,,,but that for a different thread......
That would be a Class 3 felony in Illinois, unless the professor and every other student in class gives permission.