Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Teaching Revolution

Ok, I don't know if it is actually a "revolution" but it is revolutionary in thought. I just read this article, When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom, that discusses how in the modern "technology age" students find PowerPoint lectures as their most boring (most boring?) form of education.

Now this follows perfectly on the heals of my last post, a call for "Out of the Box" (or Outside the box) teaching ideas. The article goes on to explain how PowerPoint is perfect for outside the classroom. Have students research the topic before coming to class and then use the classroom as a forum for debate and discussion. While this may not work on larger class sizes, I can see this as a great alternative to the status quo variety of teaching. Shake things up. The only problem is that students usually don't like to do "homework" and this method basically gives them more. But I am all for alternative forms of thinking. Use the classroom to get the students inspired about a topic, not as a place to pound nonsensical information into their head. College should be a place where students learn how to think, not a place where they are inundated with useless information. Information can be obtained in numerous locations now-a-days, and usually at a faster pace than the professor can deliver it. So use technology, but not to make the life of the professor easier, to make the student a better learner.

As Einstein said "Never memorize something that you can look up."