College Professors Striking Back at Technology – With Technology?

You just can’t make this stuff up.  Here is the name of a recent article on The Chronicle:

College 2.0: Teachers Without Technology Strike Back

The first thing that any decent intro to educational technology course teaches you is that technology is not just a computer.  Chalk boards are technology.  Books are technology.  “Technology can refer to material objects of use to humanity.” This also includes over head projectors and calculators.

In fact, we have probably all read the quotes from people that were opposed to books way back in the day.  I even remember once reading a quote that talked about how writing on bark was better than chalkboards or something like that.

So how did the professor strike back at technology? But forcing students to use a blue book.  Which is technically also technology.  Confused? So are the students in these courses I would bet. The professor also used an overhead at some point I would be willing to bet, or at least turned on the air conditioning if it got hot.

Worst quote of the article?

“tech-based learning feels more like IKEA—a lower-price, build-it-yourself option.”

Sad. Really sad.  Just taking out technology and talking at students doesn’t make a class high quality.  In fact, I have been in many face-to-face courses that would be a K-mart Blue Light Special if this metaphor is continued.

“In that way, some professors see emphasizing the benefits of chalk-and-talk methods as defending their craft against pressures to cheapen it.”

That is great – I see great value in face-to-face learning.  Just don’t defend your side by cheapening technology-based learning.  Lower-price, do-it-yourself? Give me a break.

Matt Crosslin

Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

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