ERIC Number: EJ853097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-24
Reference Count: 0
When Computers Leave Classrooms, so Does Boredom
Young, Jeffrey R.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n42 Jul 2009
College leaders usually brag about their tech-filled "smart" classrooms, but a dean at Southern Methodist University is proudly removing computers from lecture halls. Jose A. Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, has challenged his colleagues to "teach naked"--by which he means, "sans" machines. More than any thing else, Mr. Bowen wants to discourage professors from using PowerPoint, because they often lean on the slide-display program as a crutch rather using it as a creative tool. Class time should be reserved for discussion, he contends, especially now that students can download lectures online and find libraries of information on the Web. Mr. Bowen is part of a group of college leaders who haven't given up on that dream of shaking up college instruction. Even though he is taking computers out of classrooms, he's not anti-technology. He just thinks they should be used differently--upending the traditional lecture model in the process. Here's the kicker, though: The biggest resistance to Mr. Bowen's ideas has come from students, some of whom have groused about taking a more active role during those 50-minute class periods. The lecture model is pretty comfortable for both students and professors, after all, and so fundamental change may be even harder than it initially seems, whether or not laptops, iPods, or other cool gadgets are thrown into the mix.
Descriptors: College Instruction, Intermode Differences, Computer Attitudes, Influence of Technology, Teaching Methods, Educational Change, Instructional Improvement, Educational Technology, Classroom Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A