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“Discussion is absolutely the key,” [University of Georgia Journalism Professor John] Soloski said. “Without the computers, there’s not this physical barrier between the professor and the students …”

Allowing laptops, as UD often says, is academic malpractice.

Professors who continue to allow laptop use fall into the following categories.

1. I could give a shit. It’s easier for me to do virtually nothing up there if students are sedated with their fun screens. To make matters perfect, I use old text-heavy PowerPoints and drone and dribble over them. Eventually my teaching will resemble my deep calm when sleeping off benders, and my classroom will be a morgue.

2. I hate and fear humanity, especially students. I look forward to the day when all of them will be hidden from me behind their screens.

That’s about it.

Margaret Soltan, January 23, 2017 9:52AM
Posted in: technolust

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10 Responses to ““Discussion is absolutely the key,” [University of Georgia Journalism Professor John] Soloski said. “Without the computers, there’s not this physical barrier between the professor and the students …””

  1. Clarissa Says:

    There is a third category and I’m in it. I don’t police laptop or cell phone usage because it’s beneath me and will make me feel pathetic. My students put down the phones and switch off the computers because I’m simply good at what I do and it’s more fun to listen to me than see the same old stuff on one’s Instsgram. It often happens that students actually drop their phones because they get so mesmerized by what I’m saying.

    Good teaching is a great substitute for policing.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Clarissa: Policing has nothing to do with it. You only have to police if you have no policy. Having policies about things isn’t pathetic.

  3. Greg Says:

    And, of course, the text of choice 2, second sentence, describes the dispiriting model of online degree programs.

    Take heart: perhaps big time college football will follow suit, morphing into a series of online video games. But, I doubt it and that, if it did happen, the savings would go anywhere good.

  4. David Foster Says:

    I suspect there’s an additional reason: ‘Technology is perceived as Cool, and *I* certainly want to be perceived as cool, or at least not as uncool”

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    David: I think this one used to be in play. Tech is so everywhere now, I don’t think it’s a factor.

  6. Van Hayhow Says:

    There is a third category. The school where I am an adjunct sets up the courses and we can only make minor changes. The courses often call for submitting papers for review through the computer. A majority of the classrooms are equipped with computers.

  7. Anon Says:

    I banned laptops this semester. I expected some push-back, but I didn’t get a single complaint. I know a lot of our contingent faculty won’t consider it because they worry it will affect their evaluations.

    I had a powerpoint malfunction last week and ended up drawing a lot of graphs/charts on a whiteboard from memory. Now *that* completely changed the dynamic, much more than banning laptops. Students were far more engaged, even though I put very little text on my ppt slides.

  8. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Anon: I’ve banned them for years and never heard a peep. I’m sure a few students have dropped the course when they realized what was up; other than that, students don’t seem to care.

  9. Greg Says:

    Dante, I’m sure, did not foresee Powerpoint, but I have to wonder for what sorts of miscreants such presentations would have been reserved if he had. A search of this blog would likely find a discussion, of Edward Tufte on PP (an apt abbreviation), but let me recommend it anyway:



  10. dmf Says:

    who could have imagined?

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