They’ve got another article from some fuddy-duddy prof who doesn’t like the 21st century. It seems to be nothing but a long whine about modern teaching technologies — it’s rather pathetic, actually, but the Chronicle seems to have a fondness for running occasional articles from defensive, confused Luddites. Here’s an example:
Besides using the computer more in my classroom, the experts tell me that another way to transform my teaching persona is to put more of my course materials online. I can create a course that’s more user-friendly and appealing to today’s students by incorporating more Web-based elements. That could be as simple as placing my syllabi, lecture notes, and other course materials on my Web site — which would mean that I first have to get a Web site.
I’d say the best way to improve his teaching persona would be to have the snide ignorance extirpated from his brain. That’s not what teaching technology is about, and I’d agree that if you substitute a computer for good pedagogy you lose. But with the right perspective — specifically, that technology is a tool that when used appropriately and with moderation can improve your ability to deliver information and can provide resources to help students get that information — it can help you teach. A fellow who’s stymied at the thought of getting a website probably should not mess with it, though; he’s kind of hopeless. He’s at a university, so he’s probably already got one and doesn’t know it, and the university probably also provides software to simplify putting up simple web pages that, for instance, could archive reading assignments or help him maintain a gradebook.
It’s no sin to not understand modern instructional technology, and lots of teachers can do a great job without it; it is damned stupid to mock teaching technology, though, when you’re ignorant of what it is.
I’ll let New Kid rip up the rest of the article, though. Some days the Chronicle just depresses me — it’s like reading some blue-lettered broadsheet from the 1950s. Hey, maybe they ought to stop publishing it on the web and instead distribute it with a network of hand-cranked presses and stapled mimeo sheets!