Laptops & Tablets with Keyboards
In general I believe that the use of personal computers and tablets can be very useful in the classroom for a variety of reasons. And in general, I prefer to start out by trusting that students can manage their specific attention/focus needs and the use of such devices effectively. This semester in particular, because of the strong possibility that at some point individual students and/or the whole class will need to transition to remote learning using a virtual platform, I am actively encouraging students who have laptops or tablets with keyboards to bring them to class. I believe that using these devices in class will help establish a sense of continuity if/when individual students or the whole class needs to transition to a virtual format.
Students who have a laptop or a tablet should not use their smart phones in class. There is absolutely no need for your phone to be out if you’re using one of these preferred devices. Using your smartphone to take notes, follow along with the readings, and or access the course site should only be done if you do not have access to a laptop or tablet.
If you have a documented use for another type of electronic device during class, please let me know prior to the end of the second week of classes. Otherwise, the use of other devices including but not limited to (head phones, earbuds, fitbits, smartwatches, portable gaming consuls, etc.) should not be used in class. Wearable technology like fitbits or smart watches as long as they are not a distraction to the wearer or anyone else in the class.
More Tech. = More Participation
Regardless of what kind of technology you use in class, you should understand that I allow the use of such devices in class only because I expect that having such devices will amplify the intensity and quality of your class participation. If the presence of technology doesn’t support class participation and/or it impedes students’ thoughtful participation, I will reconsider this policy. I reserve the right to alter this policy at any point for the whole class or particular members of the class.
Examples: If in a class discussion someone makes a reference to a movie but can’t quite recall the director, I expect everyone with smart phone and/or laptop to be able to offer up the answer. OR If I ask for an example of contemporary black music that references slavery or Jim Crow, I expect students not only to offer whatever fuzzily comes to mind, but to offer name of the song, artist, composers, album release date, lyrics, and maybe even be ready to play a video or sound clip. OR When you reference a classmate’s blog post, I expect your reference to be accurate and specific.
Disruptive Tech. Usage
The instructor reserves the right to ask students to store all such belongings out of sight and sound and vibration range and/or temporarily confiscate any such item until the conclusion of class. Repeated instances of distracting and/or unproductive use of technology and portable devices in class will affect students participation grade.