College professors hate when their students are distracted by laptops in class so much that it occasionally results in assault charges. Some professors have gone so far as to spy on their students to figure out what they're up to on their computers.
Inside Higher Ed reports a couple of studies that tried to see just how much Facebook-ing and IMing students were doing on their laptop versus actual learning by snooping on them. Our favorite is the one where a St. John's University law professor paid a couple of research assistants to stand in the back of the classroom and covertly peek over students' shoulders during class at their laptop.
They found that while first-year students spent only four percent of their time on their laptop doing non-class stuff, higher-level students were huge slackers: More than half of second- and third-year law students "used the computers for non-class purpose more than half the time." This is probably 'cause they think they've got it all figured out, stupid seniors. Another study in which a professor got permission to install spyware on students' laptops, found that the average slacker cycled through 65 new windows per lecture, of which only 1/3 was class-related.
So, yes, college students with laptops spend most of their time in class reading gossip blogs and trolling Facebook, as any college student will tell you. But you know what would be even more distracting than this? Constantly looking over your shoulder to see if your professor was spying on you for some study. [Inside Higher Ed, image via Shutterstock]