Kevin L. Brady (Brigham Young University Idaho) has posted The Shove Without a Nudge: Banning the Internet in College Classrooms on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
As laptops, and even cell phones, become increasingly powerful and ubiquitous, in-class Internet usage will continue to increase. Many schools have met increased surfing by switching off wireless networks during class-time. One noteworthy example is the University of Chicago Law School's recent Internet ban.
Simply switching off local wireless networks, however, will not solve the problem, especially as more students use mobile broadband networks and cell phones, such as the iPhone, to access the Internet. Furthermore, there are pedagogical benefits to allowing Internet access in the classroom. Therefore, switching off the Internet might not only be an ineffective way to limit in-class surfing, but it might also lower the quality of higher education. In this Essay, I draw on Professors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein's idea of libertarian paternalism to argue that there are effective ways to curb Internet usage without banning it entirely. As a recent graduate student, current professor of economics, and future law student, I hope to offer a fresh perspective on the debate.