Technology has made every area of human endeavor better, or at least more productive, and it seems downright curmudgeonly these days to say otherwise. We all agree with that. . . right?
One educator, Dan Drezner, is questioning whether technology actually boosts productivity in the classroom. A professor at Tufts University and a PostEverything blogger for the Washington Post, Drezner recently shared his experience with classroom tech in a post titled “Confessions of a Luddite Professor.” With 20 years of teaching under his belt, he's tried it all and has come to the conclusion that making everything easier is not meeting the goals of the classroom.
One of Drezner's examples has long been noted in the boardroom as well: When a presenter uses PowerPoint, the audience doesn’t do the hard work of critical listening. It’s more efficient, sure, but does the audience retain more? Do they engage with the material seriously and critically?
Another example: Students retain more information when they write notes out by hand. Does the same apply to board members?
Classroom tech is a big investment, and schools have poured a lot of money into computer labs, Wi-Fi, and new furniture like desks with recharging stations. While some technology seems beneficial (Drezner loves his whiteboard!), it’s worth questioning the value of some of these technological miracles.
For more, check out:
“How PowerPoint Is Ruining Higher Ed”
“Attention Students: Put Your Laptops Away”