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Friday, May 18, 2018

Banning Electronics Works in One OSU Class

All first-year students at The Ohio State University, Columbus, are receiving iPad Pros this fall as part of an initiative between the institution and Apple to enhance the learning experience. The devices are welcomed across campus, except for an economics course taught by Trevor Logan.

Logan banned all electronics from his courses during the spring semester. Instead of complaints, he saw student performance on the midterm exam improve significantly.

The students even seemed to like the policy, telling Logan the ban helped them maintain their focus in class and take better notes. They also said it helped them enjoy the class.

“I thought I would get much more pushback on this from students, and I didn’t think student outcomes would be so significant,” Logan wrote in a Twitter thread. “Given these results, I’m very encouraged to continue with the policy.”

The one concern was the electronics ban might be an issue for students with learning disabilities who rely on technology. Logan allowed students to petition for an exception, but no student did during the spring term.

“A deep understanding of when and how the use of smart devices and other technologies should be diluted or entirely removed from the learning environment remains elusive,” John Craven, associate professor of education at Fordham University, New York, NY, said. “Dr. Logan’s willingness to shed light on this topic is commendable, particularly given the potential of rebellion from students who are currently all too often addicted to their smart devices.”

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