Ticklish Ears has a discussion up about surfing the web during class. He and Professor Flanders both were thrilled by that.
I’ve only had one classroom in a computer room full time. It was a remedial writing course. And my students surfed the web a lot. Normally for games they could play, rather than listening to the discussion about the grammar they were going to have to work with. Then they would ask questions, when they got to the work. It wasn’t because I didn’t explain or give examples. It was because they were playing games.
Now for research, the computers were great. And I can see how a class on a novel would be interesting. “Search the net and find four articles that would be interesting/useful for someone who wanted to learn more about the background of this novel.”
Actually, now that I wrote that, I am thinking that might be a good pre-reading suggestion. We’re doing Frankenstein in Freshman 2. What if I gave that as a pre-reading assignment? That might really work.