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College Instructor Lists Everything She's Seen Students Doing On Their Computers

By Mark Pygas

One thing that surprised me about college is that some classmates seemingly paid thousands in tuition to sit in a lecture and browse the internet. A graduate student instructor at the University of Michigan noticed the same thing. So she decided to give her students a surprise on their last day by sharing their entire browsing history with the rest of the class...

The instructor who came up with the idea, Meg Veitch, studies paleontology and helps teach some classes. She told The Chronicle that she noticed students were getting digitally distracted in class, but the professor who runs the course, Brian Arbic, didn't want to ban laptops. (He frequently asked students to complete "exercises with the laptop, working with Google Maps, that sort of thing.") So Veitch decided to write down everything she saw and compile it into a PowerPoint to illustrate the issue.