Technology for the Classroom Can Suck Donkey Scrote
Maybe I’m just a curmudgeon at heart. But I don’t think technology has a huge place in the classroom.
Not when you are in the humanities, anyways. Or if it does, the instructor should be the one controlling it.
Why do my students (and yours, fo sho) pay tens of thousands of dollars each semester for the privilege of sitting in a classroom, only to ignore every fucking thing that is happening around them?
Let me tell you a story, gentle reader.
wasted spent my weekend coming up with lesson plans to introduce what my students would consider a difficult and inaccessible text. I was pretty excited about it too, because I came up with a few gimmicky fun activities to ‘trick’ them into learning and ease them into the text. And then some visuals to make the text come alive before we began the herculean feat of interpreting it all.
So how did it work out on the battlefield? Well, the ‘fun’ stuff was fun. There was attention and participation. Better than I could have expected. Then the idea was to show a few minutes of a related film, to give em a visual.
So picture it, Sicily 1937. The movie is on, the lights are off. The film may or not feature artfully arranged facial hair and unintentionally hilarious accents.
I saw a student on their phone and told hir to put it away. A minute later, I turned my eyes away from the film to do a lifeguard eye sweep of the room, and see another student smiling to hirself as hir heroin screen glowed under hir finger. I realize typing this out that it shouldn’t seem like such a big fucking deal but I felt outraged like some shitty roman emperor realizing his subjects don’t really love him but just want protection from gangs of marauders.
So I shut the movie off and stared at them. Asked again for what felt like the millionth time this semester, why the hell are you guys here if you are just going to stare at your phones? And I gave them an assignment to do that, as I later realized, is really just a punishment for me since I’ll have to read the damn things.
I guess the real problem is that what we do in my classroom isn’t important to my students. If it was, they wouldn’t be on their fucking phones at all.
So how the hell do I deal with that?