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When university courses resume this September, Canadian students may find themselves learning the meaning of two new letters: HB.

The standard pencil, for many years alien to digitized lecture halls, is coming back into fashion on campus as a growing number of professors across North America ban laptops from their classrooms.

Many of these instructors are responding to a body of research showing that computer screens are distracting for people trying to learn, and that handwritten notes lead to better conceptual understanding than typed ones.

Computer-free lectures seem to mark a departure from the optimism around technology that has prevailed on many campuses in recent years, and academics who have banned laptops say they are part of a growing wave.

“It’s become pretty common now,” said Arash Abizadeh, a professor of political theory at McGill University who banished laptops from his classes in 2010...

Professors push back against laptops in the lecture hall - The Globe and Mail

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