Mark Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory and a keen observer of the effects of technology on the minds of students, has written a provocative blogpost this week at First Things. In To Students: Close Laptops, Use Pencils, Bauerlein says “I disallow laptops in my classroom. No screens, only books, paper, and pencil. The obvious reason is the distraction factor. Stand in the back of a classroom of fifty-plus students, survey the dozens of screens propped open, and count how many show social media, pictures, text messages . . .” He cites a study that uncovers a deeper problem with laptop use for note taking in the classroom. “Even when students pay attention and take notes on the keyboard, their learning suffers. Or rather, they understand and retain the material less effectively than they do when they take notes by hand.” There is a difference in the way the brain processes information when typing notes compared to taking hand-written notes. I commend this post to you. Bauerlein always provides great food for thought. Technology is a wonderful gift, but it must be used prudently. All of those Ultrabook laptops we were going to purchase for the Logic and Rhetoric School students – well . . . never mind.