SansBlogue  
Thursday, December 13, 2007
  Computers in class :: or a false view of teaching?
Photo by Hari Bilalic
Another teacher fires a round in the war against laptops in class "Computers in the Classroom…Not All They’re Cracked Up to Be?" Is this a "Dog Bites Man" headline, or what? R. Scott Clark talks sense about the fact that students who make handwritten notes are likely to do better than those who try to typewrite a transcription of the lecture. Students and other profs chime in to complain about the clacking noise... yada, yada, yada...

BUT, the whole conversation is again so wrong. The "lecture" should not ne something you can, or would want to transcribe! Think about it, if it is transcribable why not just buy the book, a $20 paperback costs far less per student than a teacher and you can read it when you want - and you can choose a "better" teacher ;-) The lecture as a means to transfer information and ideas (as data) is inefficient and inconvenient, compared to print. Use the "lecture" time to do more, add value, get students engaging with the ideas and information and long term they will learn more.
Photo by peiqianlong
If one dictates a "lecture", and students write a transcription (or even - though this is much better - makes selected notes) by hand or on a laptop then the teacher was replaced by technology over 500 years back! When Herr Gutenberg invented moveable type he made the printed book cheap - why take lecture notes, if the teacher just "lectures" save travel-time, boycott the class and buy the book....

HT to Joe Fleener

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