Findings from a national study released Jan. 7 show that using laptop computers for certain activities during law-school classes is linked to higher levels of student engagement and other positive outcomes, reports Indiana University. Students who frequently used their laptop to take notes, review ideas from past lectures, or read a self-prepared case brief were more likely to come to class prepared, contribute to class discussions, and synthesize material across courses. They were also more likely to work hard to meet faculty expectations. Perhaps to be expected, students who frequently used their laptops during class to surf the web, eMail, or instant message were much less engaged overall. Third-year students were more likely than other law students to participate in such distracting activities during class. The 2008 report from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) is based on information from more than 29,000 law students at 85 law schools. The study, titled Student Engagement in Law Schools: Preparing 21st Century Lawyers, gives law schools an idea of how well students are learning, along with what students put into and get out of their law-school experience…

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