To give a student an iPad is to place him in front of a bay window open to an endless sea of distraction.

[caption id="attachment_53799" align="alignleft" width="240"]distraction-ipad-mooc-meec Yaros' course uses an iPad app loaded with a constant stream of course material to keep students engaged.[/caption]

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, eMail, cat GIFs – with a mobile device and a WiFi connection, students have plenty of things to pay attention to instead of the lecture in front of them.

But Ronald Yaros, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland’s...

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