There are very few things which we know, which are not capable of being reduced to a mathematical reasoning. And when they cannot, it’s a sign our knowledge of them is very small and confused. Where a mathematical reasoning can be had, it’s as great a folly to make use of any other, as to grope for a thing in the dark, when you have a candle standing by you.
—Of the Laws of Chance, Preface (1692)
John Arbuthnot (1667–1735)
In the April 2017 issue of Economics of Education Review, an article entitled “Computers and productivity: Evidence from laptop use in the college classroom” provides convincing empirical evidence against allowing laptop use in the classroom (which is why laptops are generally not allowed in Finance 4366 – see the first bullet point under section 8.2 of the course syllabus). Anyway, here are the highlights from this article:
- Computer use in college classrooms is commonplace.
- We use a quasi-experimental design to identify the effects of laptop use in college classrooms.
- We find that computer use has a significant negative effect on student grades.
- The negative effects of computer use are concentrated among males and low performing students.