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bit of an odd question perhaps - do students take laptops into lectures/seminars these days?

(29 Posts)
harpsichordcarrier Sun 10-Aug-08 15:29:46

I start a PGCE in Sept and I was wondering whether it would be ok to take a lap top into lectures/classes to take notes as it makes more sense for many reasons.
is this ok these days?
it is 20 years when I was at universisty lectures and the laptop didn't exist grin

DarrellRivers Sun 10-Aug-08 15:32:20

I think they all do it on laptops these days, but I haven't been in a lecture theatre now for 10 years or so.
I'm sure a student will be along soon to confirm the relentless march of technology

norkmaiden Sun 10-Aug-08 15:32:37

Not normally in seminars ime - I'm not sure about lectures, but I'd guess no, on the whole. Doesn't mean you can't, though, particularly in lectures. What are you training in?

norkmaiden Sun 10-Aug-08 15:38:19

that didn't quite come out right - I mean it's not usual, rather than it's not allowed iyswim...

Chandra Sun 10-Aug-08 15:40:25

I know a good number of lecturers that get irritated at the sound of the typing. It used to be considered ratehr rude in academeic conferences but then, I have not been to one in more than 5 years...

kama Sun 10-Aug-08 15:43:49

Message withdrawn

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sun 10-Aug-08 15:46:08

Tell the truth....you are hoping the lectures/classes will be wireless and you will continue to MN. grin

fuzzywuzzy Sun 10-Aug-08 15:48:23

they do where I work, you could always take your laptop in and if the lecturer objects or there are signs up askign you not to use a laptop then just take notes the usual way.

Chandra Sun 10-Aug-08 15:49:24

The thinkg is that in some amercian universities you are requested to have a laptop and facilities are given for you to get one. I supose if that is the rule in the university there will be plenty of students taking notes in their laptops and even electricity sockets to plug them next to their sits. (I have seen it, really!)

Otherwise, go to a couple of lessons and then, just then, decide if it is adequate.

navyeyelasH Sun 10-Aug-08 15:55:25

I finished uni 2 years ago and maybe 1 or 2 students used their laptops; mainly I suspect to go on MSN!

Never seen it done in seminars; you usually get everything you need on a handout during lectures so most of the work is done outside of the lecture from my experience. I always found listening in the lecture was more important than taking notes (used a Dictaphone with permission of lecturer), then going home and reading and working on the laptop. Seminars are more about talking than note taking also so laptop may be redundant?

Just do whatever works for you; but some lecturers do not like the noise.

Good luck with your studies! x

harpsichordcarrier Sun 10-Aug-08 16:00:42

I am studying for a PGCE (secondary English)
I suppose I was asking is it rude/bad manners rather than is it allowed.
it would certainly make more sense for me, unless there is web access of course....

BBBee Sun 10-Aug-08 16:06:35

on my course no-one does but I have seen it done on other courses and for some people (dyslexic or other access needs) they are essential.

One issue is that if you are jotting the odd thing down you seem more engaged than if you are tapping away looking at a screen - more eye contact etc. so in session like seminars where you are expected to contribute it may be an obsticle.

it would be okay i am sure but it probably won't be the norm.

BBBee Sun 10-Aug-08 16:07:34

i think if it was me i would take it and have a quiet word with lecturer at the beginning.

Ellbell Sun 10-Aug-08 16:22:48

Most students don't use laptops in class, and the few who do have usually asked me first if it's OK and have had specific reasons for doing so (e.g. dyslexia, hurt writing hand, etc.).

If someone asked me if I objected, and gave a specific reason for wanting to use a laptop, I wouldn't say no; but I'd prefer not to be talking to a roomful of people all typing away on laptops. It's hard enough to get them to make eye contact and actually engage with you as it is! (Not you, harpsi, of course smile!).

Remember (and I'm probably teaching my gran to suck eggs, here, sorry) that note-taking in lectures is not about writing down everything that the lecturer says so that you can regurgitate it later; you need to listen, to try to understand and to write down just the key points that will help you to remember what you need to take with you from that particular class.

You may also find that the lecturers make their powerpoints or handouts or a summary of the class (or even their full notes) available to you later via your institution's VLE. Some (though a limited number) lecturers may even make their classes available as podcasts.

Good luck with it.

laweaselmys Tue 12-Aug-08 14:05:34

I just graduated and have only ever seen one student use a laptop and that was only in lectures (you'd be unlikely to need it in seminars imo, as you're mostly talking and going over things, not talking notes) having said that, if you want one and think it would help you are of course allowed to do so!

JudgeNutmeg Tue 12-Aug-08 14:17:04

We have one dyslexic student who uses a laptop occasionally. We also have several lecturers who type up the outcomes of our seminars on a word doc whilst we are in the lecture. We can access PowerPoints of all our lectures on the Uni website and have a discussion forum too. To be honest, one of my new-term resolutions will be to take far fewer notes. grin Bullet points, website addys and references much more useful imo.

Mamazon Tue 12-Aug-08 14:19:05

It depends how big your lecture hall is. there is nothing worse than sitting behind someone tapping away at a laptop when your trying to hear.

winemakesmummyclever Tue 12-Aug-08 14:38:24

Yes, loads do on my course. Some use them as they are dyslexic. Others just use them to MSN/surf their way through tedious classes. Sometimes we need to be able to access the web based module info (previous lecture notes etc.) in classes (e.g. if lecturer has put loads of links up & wants to discuss them or wants you to produce a presentation there and then), and laptops are provided for those sessions if you haven't got your own.

Just try to type quietly though - some people sound like a pissed pony doing the fandango. It can be quite offputting, but usually it isn't a problem. Have never known a lecturer to object so far.

tw70 Mon 01-Sep-08 12:44:26

Have a think of the type of exam you will be doing. If you have to hand write for several hours, you really do need to practice handwriting. If nothing else, writing in a lecture gives you that practice.

witchandchips Mon 01-Sep-08 12:53:42

As a lecturer i would rather you listened, took notes and then thought about the material later (to check you understood it) as you typed it up on your computer

<<witch adjusts her pince-nez and exits in a school marminsh way>>

Ummm as a lecturer I would find that distracting and would prefer you concentrate on what I am saying, take notes and then write it up later. No-one has ever bought a laptop into my lectures (students with SNs tend to have note takers).

X-post Witchandchips grin

witchandchips Mon 01-Sep-08 13:02:05

witch brings monkey a coffee in the staff room and sits down tutting about students today!

mosschops30 Mon 01-Sep-08 13:02:12

Have just finished nursing degree and no-one used lap-tops apart from students with learning difficulties.

All our notes were posted for us on the uni website so no need to type up our own or even make hand written notes really.

Lecturers said they preferred that to everyone scribbling away

AvenaLife Mon 01-Sep-08 13:10:42

There were a few with laptops when I did my law degree but none when I started a nursing course. Ask with the tutor, they will tell you. If it helps then use it. My nursing course consisted of hand outs so not much writing was involved anyway. I'm starting a course to train as a radiographer in september so I'll be writing then typing. It sinks in better this way.

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