Russia's Biggest Theological Academy Will Ban Cellphones and Laptops in Class

Russians have been trying to raise awareness in their society about the detrimental effects of technology on learning, and this is just one of the natural outcomes...

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity


Though the Moscow Theological Academy at the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad moved to distance learning as of Wednesday, March 18, with students studying online from home thanks to the coronavirus, when they return and normal classes resume, laptops and phones will no longer be allowed in class.

The decision was made by the Academy administration, Vice-rector for Academic Affairs Fr. Pavel Lizgunov told RIA-Novosti, because, quite simply, electronic gadgets distract the students from class.

“We can, of course, say that a teacher should interest his students so much that they don’t think about anything but his subject, but in practice, this is not very realistic. Very few are able to compete with devices that entertain, that don’t require any concentration and allow you to do anything you want. There are many studies showing how much regular use of electronic means of communication can reduce cognitive abilities,” Fr. Pavel explained.

Experience shows that the students often remember nothing after a lesson or at the end of a semester, he added.

Laptops for recording or typing out lectures will still be allowed only with express permission from the teacher, Fr. Pavel clarified.

The Vice-rector also explained that some other Orthodox institutions have even stricter rules. For instance, students have to turn in their phones before every class at the Kursk Theological Seminary.

The administration fully expects that there will be some resistance to the new regulations, but they hope they will be able maintain the new standards.

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