In my secondary and higher education, I had a hard time in lecture-based courses. Not so much with grades because I could read the material myself and understand it as if I paid attention in class, but my problems begin with attention. Like I said, I could read the material, as most classes had assigned pre-readings, then the professors lectured on that material. Eventually, not paying attention changed to falling asleep during class, and eventually to not showing up for class. I just had no willpower to be talked at to learn information that I could learn better by myself. But this was not true of my introductory chemistry and biochemistry classes. That’s because of the professor, who integrated technology into the classroom. She understood that technology could be used to directly benefit the students in class. This technology was just using basic tablets to actually write out answers on a digital POGIL lesson.
Because of that experience, I like blended classroom models rather than flipped classrooms (for the difference click here). I feel that blended classrooms can give a basic understanding of the current topic and the students can put together the mastery together independently or in groups. And I think that’s why I enjoyed the NPR article, “Laptops And Phones In The Classroom: Yea, Nay Or A Third Way?”. This article gave me several viewpoints on the use of technology in the classroom, and I contrasted that with my experience in my colligate chemistry classes. I liked the idea of using the Flipd app to limit the extraneous use of technology in an educational setting, however I agree with the blended classroom use of technology in the classroom. So, I found the response above that one by Derek Bruff to be the most compelling. The problem might not be that the phones are addictive, so much as that the professor has not effectively reached his or her students. I believe that the integration of technology into curriculum and teaching will help facilitate reaching students to ignite a passion for learning.
That idea was explored in the Chronicle commentary, “Setting Students’ Minds on Fire“, where the game was designed as an aspect of the class. The specific game in question, at least to me, sounded like a way to explore History and Philosophy specifically. I would expect a heavy initial workload to develop something like that, but something not as dramatic as developing a game can be expected from professors. I would expect that a professor would be fully prepared to teach a class before the start date, and in fact always be continually developing their curricula throughout the year. I currently feel unprepared to assist in my current TA assignment. My instructor of record only began to prepare for this class three days before the start of this semester, despite my continued communication. We are using new technology, TopHat, and everyone is unfamiliar. If I had been able to prepare more, I would know how to use the software in order to be more helpful to my students.
Well, that’s enough of my rambling for this week. I’d appreciate any comments, so that we can open a dialogue if we agree or even if we disagree. I’ll see y’all on Wednesday.