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Law Professor Bans Laptops
MEMPHIS, March 21, 2006 (AP) A group of University of Memphis law students are passing a petition against a professor who banned laptop computers from her classroom because she considers them a distraction in lectures.

On March 6, Professor June Entman warned her first-year law students by e-mail to bring pens and paper to take notes in class.

"My main concern was they were focusing on trying to transcribe every word that was I saying, rather than thinking and analyzing," Entman said Monday. "The computers interfere with making eye contact. You've got this picket fence between you and the students."

The move didn't sit well with the students, who have begun collecting signatures against the move and tried to file a complaint with the American Bar Association. The complaint, based on an ABA rule for technology at law schools, was dismissed.

"Our major concern is the snowball effect," said law school student Jennifer Bellott. "If you open the door for one professor, you open the door for every other professor to do the same thing."

"If we continue without laptops, I'm out of here. I'm gone; I won't be able to keep up," said student Cory Winsett, who said his hand-written notes are incomplete and less organized.

Law School Dean James Smoot said the decision was up to the professor, but the conflict has caused faculty to consider technology issues as the school prepares to move to a more advanced downtown facility in coming years.