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14 Rich. J.L. & Tech. 1 (2007-2008)
From Facebook to Folsom Prison Blues: How Banning Laptops in the Classroom Made Me a Better Law School Teacher

handle is hein.journals/jolt14 and id is 163 raw text is: Richmond Journal of Law & Technology

By: Nancy G. Maxwell*
Cite as: Nancy G. Maxwell, From Facebook to Folsom Prison Blues: How
Banning Laptops in the Classroom Made Me a Better Law School
Teacher, 14 RICH. J.L. & TECH. 4 (2007),
[1] A well-respected judge recently was asked to speak to a law school
Administrative Law class. When he took the podium, he noticed that most
of the students had laptops in front of them. As he was talking, the
students' fingers were flying across the keyboards, making clicking
noises, their eyes fixed on the screens in front of them. Several times he
noticed grins or frowns on the students' faces, but the facial expressions
were clearly unrelated to what he was saying. About twenty minutes into
* Professor of Law and Director of International Legal Programs, Washburn University
School of Law, Topeka, Kansas; B.A. (1972) and J.D. (1975) University of North
Dakota; LL.M. (1979) Harvard University; licensed to practice law before state and
federal courts in North Dakota and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth
Circuit. Professor Maxwell gratefully acknowledges Washburn University for funding
this article through an academic sabbatical. She also thanks Washburn colleagues
Michael Hunter Schwartz, Alex Glashausser, and Mary Ramirez, for their helpful
comments on earlier drafts of this article, and Andrew Pulau Evans, for acting as the
supervisor of the laptop data collection. Most importantly, she warmly thanks her
research assistant, Atim Otii, Class of 2007, not only for her diverse research skills, but
also for arranging and managing the classroom laptop usage data.
** This article was republished in November 2008, as amended, at the request of the

Volume XIV, Issue 2

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