I wonder, “Why?”

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I wonder, “Why? Why don’t teachers, especially college teachers, use technology to enhance their teaching and instruct students in a way they process information?” It seems many teachers still instruct students the way they learned 30 or 40 years ago, which consists mostly of lecture and individual practice (aka worksheets or textbook practice). I have noticed this inability to recognize the need to change teaching styles is prevalent in college–well, at least at the college where I teach. However, I suspect that attitude is widespread among many higher education faculty. The part I struggle with is why. Do these professors not see a need for it? Or is it too much extra work (especially for those who have been teaching their courses for years)? Or is it a lack of knowledge? Do they really not know that so much of this technology exists? I have reflected on this topic from time to time throughout my teaching career. The last two years teaching at the college has led me to ponder these questions even more, as I notice the general apathy, and sometimes disdain, among faculty towards teaching with technology. Of course, they use projectors and PowerPoints, but that is almost a 20-30 year old practice itself. These last two years I have heard all three reasons speculated above as answers. Even this week, I was amazed when one of my colleagues asked while we working together if I had a flash drive to save our work. I responded with, “I save almost everything on Dropbox and my hard drive.” She countered with, “Dropbox. Never heard of that.” Having interacted with this woman many times, I sincerely believe she does not realize there is such a concept as saving things “in the cloud.” Part of me wants to believe she is the minority—the anomaly—but deep down, I know that is not the case. I will leave you with this video we viewed in my Computers and Composition class at the beginning of the semester. It’s thought-provoking.

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Posted on March 26, 2014, in Musings & Reflections and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Having worked with older generations in the entertainment industry, I can tell you that technology is almost a source of illiteracy for some people. Since they didn’t live their whole lives with it, rapidly progressing technology is overwhelming and frustrating to them because they just figured out the software from 3 generations back and they don’t want to change because then they will have to learn something new all over again. Many lack intuition when it comes to navigating basic user interfaces. If you move the start button on your new edition of Windows, it throws them in a big tizzy. The most frustrating part is that they are capable of learning new tools and technology, but many are too proud to sit down and be taught by someone who is often not as smart or experienced as they are.

    I’m sure us Millenials will be 100 times worse when we’re older. We grew up teaching our grandparents how to check their email dozens of times. When those roles are reversed and our grandkids are trying not to get frustrated with us, it won’t feel very good at all!

  2. That is true. I had (still do have) a hard time navigating the new windows version. Technology changes faster than one can keep up with it. The newbies will be the ones the schools need because they will have access to information that the others don’t. Yet, experience in one may wane while experience in the other is perceived as being better. I won’t be using blogs in the classroom with students even though I spent countless hours trying to prove (analyze) the effects of incorporating blogs effectively. Yes, it all sounds great! The research, the data, the results. The truth remains. Not everyone has all this. My computer could crash at any minute. My daughter got the new one. Then what. She has one, I don’t. We are in the same house right now. But she uses hers. Then there are guidelines and protocol. Way too many to really mention. But plagiarism is one and it causes an enormous amount of stress. Then there are laws pertaining to confidentiality. Access by the hundreds to all the networks. ??? I have people following me right now and I don’t know any of them or anything about any of them, unless one counts the students in the class. Just take a look at the community and see who may be following. It is tooooo much. We need to draw the line somewhere though. Yes, you have a drop box. Yes, we use them at work. Yes, I saw my son had one too. But unless one has access to the new forms of technology, then one will not know anything about them or how to use them effectively. Access requires something: time, money, friends, communication, dedication, etc. So the real problem may be associated with the costs. One may not want to expend the costs or believe in the value of the costs. Hence, the results from the study on the social validity of incorporating blogging speak to me. But they just don’t offer enough information for me to try this with the students I am working with right now.

  3. The word I was looking for was “copyright” using the information and sharing it really violates copyright laws, but how else can one share information on the web when it comes from the web?

  4. http://linkis.com/bit.ly/HC5cQ thought this link might help answer the question

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