Digital distraction in the classroom

Digital Distractions

At the start of my summer class this year, a quiet and diligent student asked a seemingly innocuous question.  “Do you allow use of laptops in class?”  Sure, I said, as long as they’re on task.  I had my TA sit behind her a few times and double-check — she was indeed simply using the online lecture material and taking notes as she went.  I was satisfied.  And she was the only student bringing a laptop to class.
But somehow, around week 2 or 3 (out of 5), something changed.  It was so insidious, I didn’t even realize there was a problem until it was too late.
[So how can you tackle this? Read on for some useful suggestions.]
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