I feel extremely lucky to have had such a great college experience. I have had one class where I had to try to stay awake. The remainder of my classes have been enjoyable and my professors have made their subjects interesting. It is unfortunate that so many students have had experiences like Dan Brown. However, I don't think everything needs to change.
I have a class this semester where my professor doesn't allow cell phones or laptops. I'm sure you probably are thinking that I hate this class, but, it is actually my favorite class, not only this semester but out of all the classes I have taken at the University of South Alabama. Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that he has banned cell phones and laptops, I was just making a point. He uses power point presentations occasionally, but, for the most part he passes out hand-outs for his lesson and lectures. I understand that more thank likely sounds like a drag for most students but he is an excellent teacher and never once have I drifted off or came close to falling asleep. He knows how to get, and keep the attention of his students.
I am the kind of person who learns best bin a classroom setting. Like I mentioned before, I have been lucky in my college experience. My professors have encouraged class involvement, they welcome questions and discussions. I had one class where my instructor handed out her notes, then stood in front of the classroom and basically read the notes we had in our hands. I hated going to that class because it was so boring. In my opinion, these are the kind of teachers who need to change.
I have been fortunate to have fairly small classes here at South. Dan Brown speaks of large classes where the professors do not make an effort to even know your name, in those types of situations I feel that change does need to take place. I think that larger classes could definitely benefit from a web enhanced program, like the one we use in this class. Where students meet a few times in the semester but the communication and assignments are given via class blog. I do not, however, think that this is how every class should be. For people like me, and fellow classmates I have spoken about this with, this would be tragic. As I mentioned above, I learn best in a classroom setting. Whereas online classes are great for a lot of people, they do not benefit everyone.
Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home
I thought this was an interesting article and I can see why it is a must read for all teachers. I like his argument for taking the "pencils" home as well as his strive to change the way students think about computers. They are not toys, nor are they merely for entertainment, I like that he addressed that with parents and that he is giving his students interesting assignments so that they will use the computers as a learning device and not just for fun.
Two Questions That Can Change Your Life
Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.