From Blue Books to Secure Laptops

The snaking, hours-long add/drop line is a distant memory, the chalkboard is becoming an anachronism and even note-taking is increasingly a task for a keyboard, not a pad of paper. While computers have removed age-old burdens (and added some new ones), one common element of the higher education experience has generally remained stuck solidly in the 20th century: final exams, where the dreaded blue book continues to thrive.

Even today, a class that relies heavily on course management software and PowerPoint slides can end with that familiar downer, a small book of lined notepaper that seems to encourage everyone’s worst handwriting — to the dread of both the students cramming in the margins and the professors who have to read their work.

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