This week’s College 2.0 column explores a proposal by a dean at Southern Methodist University who is taking computers out of classrooms in an effort to improve teaching.
The dean, José A. Bowen, wants to discourage professors from using PowerPoint because they often lean on the slide-display program as a crutch rather than using it as a creative tool. Class time should be reserved for discussion, he contends, especially now that students can download lectures online and find libraries of information on the Web. When students reflect on their college years later in life, they’re going to remember challenging debates and talks with their professors. Lively interactions are what teaching is all about, he says, but those give-and-takes are discouraged by preset collections of slides. (Check out the article for his proposal.)
Are computers being used in a way that is discouraging interaction in classrooms? What is the appropriate use of technology in teaching?