As social media resources, computers, and networking tools spread across campuses, concerns of students everywhere now center around their professors’ electronic device policies.

In NYU Local, New York University student Ben Zweig delves into some instructors’ views regarding the use of new technology.

Professor Vincent Renzi is the director of the MAP program’s Foundation of Scientific Inquiry (FCC). He oversees the humanities, arts and social sciences classes known as Texts and Ideas, Cultures and Contexts, Societies and the Social Sciences, and Expressive Culture. He, like many other professors, does not allow laptops or tablets in class. What are his reasons?

REASON ONE: Laptops create a physical barrier between the instructor and the student (or, “The Cuisinart argument”)

Renzi wholeheartedly believes that paper is the ideal classroom tool. Anything more complicated — laptops and tablets included — is a barrier between students and teachers, a threat to “immediate interpersonal communication.” He and other educators believe the computer creates distance, and for the same reason these teachers tend to dislike distance learning. (But that’s another topic.)

He argues that if a given technology exists and students show proficiency, it does not mean the tool is useful, necessary or worth adopting. To him, technology outside of the classroom is not necessarily relevant inside the classroom.

“I use a Cuisinart to make my dinner, but I don’t use a Cuisinart to read Plato,” he said. So that settles that: you should not use your laptop in class because if every single innovation can’t contribute to education, then none can.

Zweig noted that Renzi’s solution for students unhappy with the lack of electronics was to, “drop out of NYU and go enroll in the University of Phoenix.”

The article continues with another reason why some NYU professors do not invite the use of electronics in classes:

REASON TWO: It encourages students to think that the point of note-taking is to take transcription rather than taking notes. (or, “The blood sucking argument”)…The result is an army of wide-eyed students poised to copy down every utterance, as if to create some scribbled textbook or bible based on the lessons. We’ll call this the “blood sucking argument,” since students greedily suck the information out of class and into their notebooks.

One last aspect of the professors’ complaints:

REASON THREE: It tempts students to aimlessly browse the internet instead of paying attention (or, “High heels hunting”).