Technological Change in Education

Over the last few years I have been viewing college lectures on line, mostly from AcademicEarth. In watching the lectures, I notice that some professors write their material on the blackboard with chalk. This is what everyone did back when I was in school. But, many professors now project their material, using a tool such as PowerPoint. One doesn’t have to watch a lot of this to realize there is a substantial amount of time frittered away watching old-school teachers write on the board with chalk. This method is so painfully slow, so archaic, that it is a wonder anyone still does it that way, at least in those classrooms have the technical capabilities for something more advanced.

Efficiency in presenting the material is not the only reason for moving to more modern techniques. The gunman who shot the congresswoman from Arizona, and who killed other people in that shooting rampage, had been dismissed from Pima Community College. Various people at that school had been concerned about his behavior, and that it might turn violent. One of his professors was quoted as saying, “When I turned my back to write on the board, I would always turn back quickly — to see if he had a gun.” PowerPoint could save your life, because, just like a lion tamer, you don’t want to turn your back on the students 😉

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