A public university like the University of Michigan needs, as a matter of service to its students, to drop the lecture hall for a YouTube channel. Actually, 150 miles west, Grand Valley State University, in the 1970s, was built around students being able to watch video lectures on their own schedule — they even built a mobile unit to increase flexibility…

So, now with YouTube we’ve solved the many challenges that drove GVSU away from that model.

Lectures broken down into 10-12 minute segments — matching human attention spans — might even prove to be a somewhat effective third rate learning opportunity.

But I just want to add that banning laptops is illegal if it interferes with the learning needs of students diagnosed with disabilities and is critically unfair to students with issues who lack the resources necessary to be diagnosed.

Back in 2008 I wrote about this, including this paragraph: (warning — long read)

The issue here is that laptops in the classroom represent the first real chance at Universal Design for Learning - the first real chance to allow every student to choose the media format most appropriate for their own needs - the first real chance for students who are different to be accommodated without labels, and I’ll be damned if I’m willing to give that up for the vanity of a few faculty who cannot figure out how to teach with the greatest information and communication tool humans have ever developed.

  • Ira Socol

Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning

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