I have a class this semester that's just one of those classes. Every assignment is 10x more difficult than it should be, you get penalized for showing up late, and worst of all, the teacher doesn't let you use any technology in class. No phones or laptops - the two items that are seemingly essential to surviving each hour and twenty-minute class session twice a week.
This class has really caused me to think about what professors should expect from us. We pay literal thousands of dollars each year to walk a mile to class, only to sit in an uncomfortable desk chair and listen to a "professional" individual lecture us on information that doesn't even pertain to what we want in life. It's the way college goes, we're told, so we're used to it and we have come to accept it.
But how much can our professors actually control us when we are paying them? Is it okay for my teacher to walk up to a student's desk and forcefully close the laptop being used to take notes? Or what about the professors who take away phones in class? It's allowed, but is it really what's best for us students?
Technology helps many people focus in class. Personally, I cannot just sit and listen to a lecture, especially when the professor is boring and the information irrelevant to the exams and homework. If my "side work" isn't distracting other students, my professor shouldn't care if I use my laptop or phone during class.
If I fail the exam because I wasn't listening to the lecture, that's nobody's fault but my own. I'll take that risk, and I'll take it willingly because it's always worked for me. I don't need to spend an hour listening to someone lecture me about grammar usage from a pre-typed PowerPoint. No, I'd rather use that time to actually get work done.
That's the thing about college. Our success is in our own hands. Class attendance, participation, and homework is my responsibility and mine only. If I choose to skip class, why should I lose points? Shouldn't missing important class information be punishment enough? I will just never understand why professors make such a big deal out of the little things. I've learned more from textbooks and homework assignments than I have from any lecture. And for the classes that I have attended every lecture religiously? I do terrible on the exams.
To the professor who closes my laptop while I'm in the middle of taking notes: I'm not going to listen to your lecture any more than I was before. I'm going to stare at the projector, but I'm not going to be listening. By taking away my methods for learning, you're taking away my ability to learn. You're taking away the very meaning of your job. If nobody is listening to your lecture, it probably means that you need to change it or just get rid of it all together.
Everyone learns differently, and stupid class rules shouldn't determine how we learn.
Just a little food for thought from a graduating college student.