But we still managed to have a great time at our second Pedagogy and Pizza luncheon. Today’s topic was about the use of technology in the classroom.
For years, professors, administrators, and policy makers alike have weighed the benefits of technology in education against its risks and consequences. And the debate is more pressing than ever, as curricula increasingly incorporate technology and professors try new methods of teaching and assessment. On one hand, using technology in the classroom allows you to experiment in pedagogy, democratize the classroom, and better engage students. On the other hand, some argue that phones, tablets, and laptops in the classroom are unhelpful, distracting, and could even potentially foster cheating.
Michael Laughy, Classics, gave an overview of the approaches that he takes in his classes. In Beginning Greek, almost all the readings and resources he assigns are in a digital form, so the use of technology is required. But that’s not the case with Intermediate and Advanced Greek – online resources and apps are not to be used when translating text.
In Mackenzie Brooks’s Digital Culture and Information (DCI) class, students work together to design an agreement for classroom norms, rules, and consequences, part of which includes the acceptable use of devices during class time. Mackenzie believes that students HAVE to learn how to manage distractions. Some day, in the not too distant future, they’ll be expected to perform sustained, focused work and effectively handling distractions and interruptions will be key.
Paul Youngman, German, was the last to offer his thoughts. His take is that teaching literature and teaching a language are two different birds, which call for, and exclude, different tools.
Thanks to all for coming out!