Several years ago I watched a particularly memorable “Law Revue” skit night at Yale. One of the skits had a group of students sitting at desks, facing the audience, listening to a professor drone on.
All of the students were looking at laptops except for one, who had a deck of cards and was playing solitaire. The professor was outraged and demanded that the student explain why she was playing cards. When she answered “My laptop is broken,” I remember there was simultaneously a roar of laughter from the student body and a gasp from the professors around me. In this one moment, we learned that something new was happening in class.
--Ian Ayres, Freakonomics blog, on analog substitutes in the classroom