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Making technology work in the classroom

Tufts professor Dan Drezner has grown wary of using technology in the classroom. I get it. Like Dan, I’ve also come to see laptops as a big distraction to students and their neighbors. And I hate the “Facebook face”. You know, the one where the student has this awkward smile that is about 30 seconds behind anything remotely funny that I might have said. Or worse, the silent chuckle sparked by a stupid GIF or text sent by a friend that happens to coincide with me talking about some depressing statistic about the state of the world.
I’ve considered banning laptops like Dan has, but this seems like a decree that I would have hated as a student. So I’ve resisted this nuclear option in favor of restructuring my classes to get students to look up from their screens. I won’t claim victory, but I’ve been encouraged by the results. Here’s what I’ve tried in my Global Health Research course.

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