Teaching naked

David Parry has a provocative reaction to the Chronicle article last week about teaching with(out) technology. The idea of the article is that removing technology from the classroom, but using it to create podcasts and other things for students to access out of class might enrich the teaching/learning experience by enhancing discussion.

The thing that strikes me about the conversation is the idea that the ways in which the use of tech outside the class can replace lectures. I often use tech like Blackboard (as much as I dislike it most of the time)  to supplement in-class materials and discussion, but it never really occurred to me to do things the opposite way — to use class time to supplement the material presented online. Higher education is changing, and the use of face-to-face instruction is becoming one (possible) piece of a multifaceted system. Some of the discussion about the article on twitter brings up another issue: attendance. Kelli Marshall (@Kellimarshall) asks:

“Have you found that “distributing content to students openly in ways they can easily access” lowers attendance?”

to which Dave (@academicdave) responds:

“who cares?If they aren’t learning anything they can’t at homewhy come?Make class time value added, not just a lecture”

The other thing I find interesting is resistance from students, which does not seem to be (only) resistance to using technology, but a discomfort with straying from the traditional lecture/test structure. When in-class time is liberated from the one-way process of lecturing, some students feel they are not getting what they paid for, what they expected, or what they are used to. I think confronting that resistance may be one of the most useful things they can learn.

  • http://hong-kong-actresses.blogspot.com/ Ed Waffle

    Couldn’t agree more with your assessment of students not getting what they are used to and therefore uncomfortable with anything other than the traditional structure. They may or may not like the class, may or may not be interested in its content as such but they surely want the grade that goes with the credit hours it represents.

    This may become even more the case in the next few years with jobs remaining scarce in the Detroit area and more students go to college since it is their only real option. It is a bit of a class thing, of course, with enlisting in the military being the alternative for others.

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