AOL Instant Messenger and the Socratic method

Transmogriflaw reports from law school in the USA.

bq. My law school has wireless access in all classrooms, and almost everybody takes notes on a laptop. I rarely use the wireless because there is too much going on in class for that distraction, but sometimes my friends and I log into Instant Messenger during class and open a chat room.
We don’t chat. The chat room is reserved for questions like, “Did he say involuntary or voluntary?”, or, “§45 or §90?”, or, “Score! A guest speaker!”

As the rest of the entry shows, Instant Messenger can be very helpful when a student is picked on in the Socratic method.

(We don’t have the Socratic method in England or Germany. The most famous accounts are Scott Turow’s gripping account of his first year at Harvard Law School, One L, and the film The Paper Chase).

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