Bri Colorful

Blog Rant #1

Posted on: August 30, 2010

The first day of school and that means suddenly the most important thing in the universe becomes sleep. You can never get enough and you’re always thinking about it.

I left my first class today slightly fuming. One of my least favorite experiences in the college setting is encountering professors who think their job is to take on the role of closed-minded parent. Obviously, their job description is much different in my opinion.

I should explain my ranting. Today a professor told me he did not want us to use computers to take notes in class because he was afraid we would surf the internet at the same time. Now, I understand his concern: he wants people to pay attention to him. But for one thing, we are in college. We are responsible for our own education. If we choose not to take advantage of the oppourtunities before us, that is our problem, not his. We do not need babysitting, to be told where to be and when, or to be monitored to make sure we are on task. It is my responsibility to take advantage of whatever information I find pertinent to my education from his lecture.

Now I’m not arguing that we should all play solitare while listening to our professors. It works really well for some people, but I am not the person who looks at friend’s facebook photos in class. Personally, I have become accustomed to my personal campus: the world wide web. If you take away this learning tool from me, you close opportunity upon opportunity to me. Is it really so offensive if I decide to comment about something you say on my facebook or google a term you use in your lecture while you’re talking? My peers and I grew up using the mouse to access information and you assume you can simply take that away, somewhat comperable to the bishops who once declared they were the only ones who could read and interpret the bible to the illiterate people.

It’s closed minded; it’s authoritarian; it puts road blocks up on the highway of free information and education. This is the end of my rant, which I suppose makes this an official blog. Every blog must have a rant.

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5 Responses to "Blog Rant #1"

I love a good rant!

I also drop classes from professors like that. Sheesh. Times change, and sometimes things must be embraced or you lose your credibility.

I am a ranter, unfortunately (I think.) I understand the need to rant, and I really understant the need to rant about this. I like how you call the www your personal campus. In my field, it would be so hard not to have access to that tool. I wish I could have had access to it more readily in my undergraduate years.

That’s not a rant; that’s a credible argument. I say vote with your feet on that sort of nonsense. Professors who say “check your tech” at the door are really just saying they are not invested enough in updating their own teaching styles to stay current with how much technology can and should enhance teaching. I love it when students show initiative and look things up during lectures. And since social learning is better than isolated learning, I hope they ARE checking their email and their Facebook accounts. Those can be used for serious academic purposes as well as for fun, and besides (as you say), you can be responsible for your won education.

Drop your course and come join mine. I’d love to have you in my digital civ course! I can tell you have the vision of how students should be learning today.

Hey, may I just say how much I love the layout and design of your blog? Such subtle, calming colors. Did you design this yourself? And where did you get that “I’m a Mormon badge.” I want one!

I’m working with the online missionaries at the MTC lately. You might be interested in the “Mormon Mingle” events they are starting to put together weekly. (Info: http://www.othatiwereanangel.net/2010/08/mormon-mingle-cottage-meeting-in.html)

Just a note on the flip side. As a student, I got distracted when other people were doodling around on their computers. I realize, this is my own problem and I can’t expect the world to cater to my needs, but it is nice to not have to fight as many distractions in the class. And what’s wrong with a paper and pen anyway? 🙂 (Just playing devil’s advocate here.)

Sara, I appreciate you speaking up for the other side’s view. After all, I’m not just writing this for those who think the same as I do. I have heard people say before that it is distracting to them to see other’s on the computer in class. I think it makes a huge difference whether students are “checked in” during lecture or “zoning out”. I’d like to learn from my peers so I hope they are “in the classroom” with me so we can learn together.

But I think we also have to recognize how much is demanded of our fellow students. Sometimes I see other students texting during class and I’m distracted for a fraction of a second out of worry for them. What if their best friend is having a hard day or they just got in an argument with their spouse and they’re in the last place they want to be, but their life demands it of them? I think technology allows us to stay connected to many things at once. Yes, it can be distracting, but what an incredible blessing is afforded us in our time. I think the beneficial uses far outweigh this.

My pen and paper cannot define terms, allow me to ask a friend, or keep up with my thought process. If I learn something I want to remember to expand upon later or make a cool connection, I can type that out somewhere I’ll remember it, look at the teacher, and listen to what they’re saying so I can type that next all at the same time (I realize the last skill is a special one developed in my job making real time captions for lectures). I just can’t do that with a pen and paper. That’s why I prefer my laptop.

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