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Classroom Laptop Use By Students

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Laptop/Handheld Computing in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.295.1 - 7.295.9

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Paper Authors

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Patricia Shamamy

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 1620

Classroom Laptop Use by Students

Patricia M. Shamamy, P.E. Lawrence Technological University

Abstract Our university now requires that all incoming freshmen have laptops. Faculty have been encouraged to develop uses for laptops in class. This paper describes three examples of student laptop use developed by a faculty member. The first example covers the use of Powerpoint to create simple drawings (not a Powerpoint presentation), the second covers the use of Excel to create stress-strain curves, and the third covers the use of a data base program to select engineering materials with certain properties. Students are required to complete all these assignments and submit a hard copy of their work. These assignments are all begun in class, with the instructor starting the assignment and projecting the work on a screen for all to see while the students work on their individual laptops. The assignments are too long to be completed in class so the students must finish them outside of class. In spite of the increased computer literacy of our students, it has been observed that all of these exercises introduce students to new computer skills.

I. Introduction There is heavy demand today for college graduates to possess a high level of computer literacy. Graduates are expected to understand the traditional programs found on essentially all computers, have the ability to apply this knowledge to a new situation, and be able to quickly learn how to use any analogous programs. Such skills cannot be learned solely in “computer courses.” They are most easily acquired when computer usage is interwoven in courses of their academic discipline.

Recognizing this need to increase the integration of computers in university courses, our university has begun implementation of the requirement that all students have their own personal laptop. The requirement was instituted for incoming freshmen last year. This year the requirement included both freshman and sophomore classes. After the next two years the requirement will extend to all underclass students. Instructors are encouraged to develop ways to have students use their laptops in class.

This paper is concerned classroom laptop use by students in two lower level Engineering courses, Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Materials. The strategy for determining the types of use is discussed and three examples of use are explained.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Shamamy, P. (2002, June), Classroom Laptop Use By Students Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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