Ottawa profs fight to put an end to distracted learning
Published Tuesday, April 3, 2012 5:19PM EDT
The University of Ottawa is considering a proposal which would give its professors the power to ban laptops and other electronic devices in the classroom.
Professors say everything from texting to time on Facebook is allowing their students to do everything but learn.
"They are distracted and we are competing with that for their attention," says University of Ottawa professor Marcel Turcotte who voted in favour of the policy.
"You see one student who is really not listening, would be watching the video and then it's kind of contagious," says Turcotte.
But many students say they learn better with a laptop and the vice president of the university's student federation says it's an important tool.
"If you're going to be misbehaving during class, eventually you're going to be asked to leave and I can't see why they can't do that for laptops," says Liz Kessler of the University of Ottawa Students Federation.
Turcotte says he wants to do an experiment with his students, not ban the electronics outright. He wants to challenge students to leave the electronics outside the lecture hall and take a quiz, Turcotte is confident he would see higher test scores.
Turcotte says the cost of "disctracted learning" is hefty when considering some students are losing out on a pricey education.
The University of Ottawa will vote on giving the powers to professors in May.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem