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Professor Considers Laptop Ban After Reading About Distracted Student

Students may want to think twice before inviting their professors to befriend them on Facebook. Siva Vaidhyanathan, an associate professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, reveals on his blog this week that when he perused the Facebook page of one of his students — who had invited him to become her “friend” — he came upon a message she posted that described the activities of a distracted student in his class.

Mr. Vaidhyanathan said he commented on her post, by writing on her Facebook page that he was amused.

“The student in question was not amused, and he apologized,” Mr. Vaidhyanathan writes on his blog.

The incident has led Mr. Vaidhyanathan to ponder whether he should ban laptops from his classes. The University of Chicago Law School, for one, recently removed Internet access in most of its classrooms because of concerns about students surfing the Web during class.—Andrea L. Foster

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