Sample Laptop Policies


From Dr. Summers’s other syllabi: 
Laptops and Other Electronics
I expect you to use electronic devices in class only to participate in classroom activities. Texting, email, games, social media, work for other classes, or other distractions will result in your being marked absent for the day.

From other syllabi:
“Students are not encouraged to bring laptops to
class. A closed laptop rule during lecture will be
enforced and other communication devices will need
to be on ‘silent’ during lecture.” (U. Michigan Syllabus)

“Laptops may be used only for legitimate classroom
purposes, such as taking notes, downloading class
information from TWEN, or working on an in-class
exercise. E-mail, instant messaging, surfing the Internet,
reading the news, or playing games are not considered
legitimate classroom purposes; such inappropriate
laptop use is distracting to those seated
around you and is unprofessional.” (Mazzie, 2008)

A more experimental approach from UMKC Law Professor David Achtenberg:
Students who select seats in the back rows of the
class may connect to the internet. If they choose to do so,
students in the Internet Connected Area may surf the web, e-mail
others (except for students in this class) etc. Since they are in
the back of the class, I’m working on the assumption that their
doing so will not distract students outside the Internet Connected
Area. A student who selects a seat in the Internet Connected Area
accepts the fact that others in the area will have permission to
use their computers in ways that the student may find distracting.
Obviously, there are limits on the use of computers even in the
“Internet Connected Area.” For example, students need to have the
sound turned off, should not access sexually explicit sites, and
should not use the University internet system in any way that
violates UMKC policy. If anyone believes that a student has
exceeded those limits, he or she should either speak to the student
about the situation or bring it to me.
Students who do not select seats in the back of the class will be
in the “No Internet Area.” Those students may use laptops for note
taking and for retrieving files that they have saved on their hard
drives or thumb drives — ordinarily word processing, powerpoint,
or spreadsheet files. They may not connect to the internet during
They may not play games or use their computers in other ways that
might unreasonably distract their colleagues, e.g., leafing through
picture albums. In return, they will have the right to assume that
their colleagues in the “No Internet Area” will be bound by the
same restrictions.
In both cases, your choice will be binding for the semester. I
reserve the right to tell everyone to put down their pens and close
their laptops at any time.