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“In the end, though, I decided that the students who were not multi-tasking had a right not to be distracted by others who were. And, perhaps it’s okay for me to be paternalistic — I’m a teacher, after all.”

If you follow University Diaries, you know that her response to the recent spate of banning confessionals is why did it take you so long. But anyway.

Margaret Soltan, July 27, 2016 9:58AM
Posted in: technolust

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7 Responses to ““In the end, though, I decided that the students who were not multi-tasking had a right not to be distracted by others who were. And, perhaps it’s okay for me to be paternalistic — I’m a teacher, after all.””

  1. dmf Says:

    this sort of thing is often sold along the lines that students need to be tech/tool savvy and that they need to learn and otherwise work in groups, if we take that at face value (yes I know) it leaves open the gaping hole of a question are faculty trained to teach in these ways?

  2. Derek Says:

    No one doubts that students need to be tech savvy. It’s just that they are tech savvy. And if they are not, history class is not the place to start doing so. The other lie is that being online increases access, when all it really does is further the gap between the haves and have nots.

  3. JackOH Says:

    FWIW-David Baker of the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Ass’n. wrote me in Nov. 2015:

    “We are developing a major marketing effort to promote handwriting, and cursive. It should be in place by early January.

    Of course, it all starts with the schools. If the federal government would let states and school districts set their own path, children would learn to read and write, including cursive….” He didn’t go into detail.

  4. dmf Says:

    derek being adept @ killing time on social media isn’t really what they are after as educators…

    JOh not sure there is much of a future in these days of e-records/communications for handwriting let alone cursice but full sentences and the like might have some enduring value

  5. charlie Says:

    Too bad this prof is killing Rutger’s US News and World Report ranking. Being one of the top ten wired unis is supposedly worth spending millions to achieve. In some circles, the horror is so few public unis are sufficiently electronically friendly:


    Can’t deny prospects the opportunity of walking into traffic playing Pokeman Go….

  6. Derek Says:

    dmv — No one doubts that. But the promises of the wired campus seem to have fallen way, way short. And so in fact some campuses DO try to make “social media” a part of the curriculum. It doesn’t make one a luddite to realize that students on their laptops or tablets or phones in class are largely not necessarily doing class-related work. And I know the counter: Be entertaining enough and they won’t need to be on the internet, or texting. But sometimes what goes on in the classroom is hard. Sometimes working through ideas, or thinking about difficult reading, or getting through dense material is not fun. For anyone. But that doesn’t mean it isn;’t worthwhile. And having the guy next to and in front of you going through Facebook or checking out sports scores, or watching a video isn;t conducive to that. There is absolutely a place for tech. Using databases or other research, recognizing that historians, or literature professors, or physicists, have found interesting ways to use Twitter. But what WE are after as educators shouldn’t always require screen time just because administrators are afraid that NOT having them on screens somehow means we are losing them.

  7. David Foster Says:

    When the telegraph was first invented, a journalist marveled:

    “This extraordinary discovery leaves…no elsewhere…it is all here.”

    But if wired communications reduced the sense of Elsewhere, it seems that wireless communication is in all too many cases crippling the sense of the Here and Now.

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