"When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom (or, Try Teaching 'Naked', a Professor Urges)" – St. Thomas Libraries Blog
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"When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom (or, Try Teaching 'Naked', a Professor Urges)"

Interesting recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education. What do you think of it? (Comment below)
“College leaders usually brag about their tech-filled “smart” classrooms, but a dean at Southern Methodist University is proudly removing computers from lecture halls. José A. Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, has challenged his colleagues to “teach naked” — by which he means, sans machines.”
Bowen argues in this article and accompanying video that too many courses are powerpoint lecture dependent, which frequently leads to a boring, unengaged classroom experience. He’s not anti-technology, or even anti-lecture, he just wants to turn the existing model on its head: use technology for the lecture or uni-directional transmission of information by having students view slides, listen to podcasts, or view video online outside of class, while reserving classroom time for interactive discussions, group exercises, etc.
I like the concept, but think this notion of removing all computers from classroom settings is throwing the baby out with the bathwater–are there no circumstances where technology in the classroom could enhance discussion or interaction? Wouldn’t a group viewing of a video snippet prior to an in-person discussion or exercise ensure that all had viewed the content freshly and improve the conversation? Wouldn’t a professor’s in-person narration or comments on art history slides, coupled with student discussion and interaction liven and provide sponteneity to a lecture in a way not possible when viewing or listening to a static video or podcast?
His points about poor uses of technology are well-taken, but in part sound like just another case of blaming the tool for its mis-use. Surely motivated faculty can find better ways to use the tools, so why disarm them by removing the technology from the classroom?
What do UST faculty and students think? Check out the article and video and use the comment feature on this blog post to discuss.

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