Are you ready for some learning?

I’m about a week out from another academic year starting (my tenth! how frightening!), and so it’s timely to share a few thoughts about learning and being a student…

Lots of attention is going to this article about a study showing that laptop use in class results in lower grades. Less press is going to the portion I remember most from when the article first came out – that someone next to you using a laptop also causes scores to drop. I’ll be mentioning this in my explanation for why I sometimes lock the classroom computers when we’re having discussions that don’t require the technology.

If you’re thinking about getting focused on your writing, consider this report on research showing pre-writing rituals can effect the quality of your writing. Or your appreciation for a carrot. And apparently the rituals don’t have to be as …. compelling …. as the examples cited in the opening paragraph of the article.

Finally, this blog post, from a generally humorous blog written by a just-graduated undergrad, on Great Books and the Discussion Method is the end point that I hope all students entering my school come to, if not by the end of the First-Year Seminar, by the end of their time with us.

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