Move Over, Laptop Ban: Professor Peña-Guzman Teaches Five-Hour Tech-Less Reading Class

Wednesday, March 06, 2019
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EDSURGE -- David Peña-Guzmán starts off his Friday class at San Francisco State University like any other professor might: students file in and pull out their note-taking materials, and he opens his laptop to begin lecture.

But stay in Peña-Guzmán’s class a little longer — maybe five hours longer — and things start to look a little different. For starters, it’s long. The course, titled “The Reading Experiment: The Power of the Book,” takes place every other Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m. and wraps up at 2:30 p.m. There is also a snack table in the room that students contribute to and share, and a low ambient buzz emits from a white noise machine at the front.

For most of the course, there’s no lecture happening at all. Students put away their technology and read for four hours.

“It’s a rediscovery of uninterrupted reading,” Peña-Guzmán said last Friday while pulling up slides about the assigned readings.