Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Rethinking the Social Media-Centric Classroom

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the cognitive-dissonance dept.

Education 81

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Wesch has been on the lecture circuit for years touting new models of active teaching with technology. The associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University has given TED talks. Wired magazine gave him a Rave Award. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching once named him a national professor of the year. But now Mr. Wesch finds himself rethinking the fundamentals of teaching after hearing that other professors can't get his experiments with Twitter and YouTube to work in their classes. Is the lecture best after all?"

cancel ×

81 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Happy Valentines Day from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013187)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

There is no (5, Insightful)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013193)

One best thing. Every subject taught, every student taught, every portion of each learning experience is different. To try and force one approach is to deny the variability of the participants and the subject matter. Passion is the only universal secret sauce.

Re:There is no (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013331)

Orv'd just broken up with his girlfriend after a series of long, drawn-out fights about her watching NBA games and dance movies before sex with him. She always sighed and turned the channel right before he'd walk in, then turn it back to whatever she was watching after Orv left the room to wait for her in her bed. What was the common denominator of those shows?

Months later, one of Orv's male co-workers had told him that a female co-worker had the hots for him and wanted his number. She was a pygmy-Mexican, one of those dark hairy Mestizos. Very short, thick Spanish accent, flirty but homely, total Beaner. She he had given Orv her number and let him know that she wanted to talk to him. He sat on it for another few months.

Orv finally called her out of loneliness. Boy, she was dumb as shit. She spoke with a lingual protrusion lisp like Sylvester from Looney Tunes, which made her sound even more stupid. He hadn't even known her name, so he asked her. " Pinche Lupita", she said. "At least she can't fuck that up," Orv thought. She looked retarded, possibly a deformed fetal-alcohol baby if not a botched abortion. What the hell was Orv thinking? "Oh well," he muttered, "Better give her a chance...there just might be a personality inside that stunted exterior."

They fucked on the second date. They went out to the movies, the same theater that her aint got free tickets for scrubbing the bathrooms, but halfway through the movie she grabbed his hand and put it on her crotch. They ended up leaving the theater and going back to his place to fuck. She kept saying aloud, "I can't believe I'm fucking Orv from work!" as he gave her the ol' meat-stick. 2 positions later, he came into the condom. She laid down on the bed, silent, and started crying. "what's the problem?", he asked. "I'm gonna get pregnannnnnnnnnt," she weeped.

Aw, fuck. Not one of those. He had graduated high school, did she? She's only 4 feet and 9 inches tall. She's probably some 14 year-old illegal alien with fake papers. She'd rat him out when ICE came to take her away, and they'll send him to prison for fucking a minor. At least she had pubic hair. Orv chuckled as he thought to himself, "At least she had trimmed pubic hair."

Which was true. She was ugly, but she wasn't nasty. You'd hope not. If you're going to remove all of the hair above your knees and below your belly button, the least a woman could do is trim. Orv's ex never trimmed. Wait -- she did trim for the first 2 weeks they were together.

Then she totally stopped. She also stopped wearing bras around the house. She didn't have the same vigor and lust for life as Orv did. That's the problem with fat chicks. Their being fat is a bad thing only if you don't have a large enough penis to shut 'em up. Which may have been connected to those shows she was watching to get "in the mood" to be with him. But that's old news.

Back to Pinche Lupita. Orv would later half-jokingly tell her that he'd punch her in the stomach if she became pregnant with his baby and didn't abort it. He would rather spend 2 years in prison than spend the next 18 years broke and in servitude while the mother of his mutant kid was fucking strange men.

Man, that's savage. Of course he wouldn't really do that. So they continued to see each other. It was clear from the get-go that she was hopelessly sprung and bad things would happen. Changes to their routine would have to be made. Everytime he spoke he threw in a disclaimer -- "We will never be in a relationship. We have nothing in common." She understood. He made it a point to tell her everytime.

The best thing about her was her sense of humor. She had none but she enjoyed the worst he threw at her. He told her endlessly about Mexicans being welfare-collecting burrito-eating baby factories and she took it in stride because she knew he was going to be fucking one of those dirty swine later that night. She would have her turn to be human while he knotted up inside her like some filthy feral stud-dog tying up with the first bitch of the day. Later on, these depraved role-reversals would take place in cheap hotels all over San Diego's notorious El Cajon Boulevard.

Re:There is no (0)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013391)

Truely squalid.

That's too much detail to be made completely up. It sounds to me like it might be based on a true story.

Re:There is no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014163)

Passion is overrated by the mediocre and misrepresented by the genius. The only relevant thing is talent.

Life's unfair.

Re:There is no (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015147)

If there actually was one best thing, I'd be willing to bet my entire savings that it was not social media related.

Re:There is no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016415)

As Bernard Shaw noted, good teaching is entirely useless except in those few cases where it is superfluous.

Wired magazine? (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013225)

That's the yardstick of credibility these days? It's a piece of shit that just makes stuff up if the truth isn't exciting enough. Check out the Raspberry Pi site for more details.

Re:Wired magazine? (1, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013295)

That's the yardstick of credibility these days? It's a piece of shit that just makes stuff up if the truth isn't exciting enough. Check out the Raspberry Pi site for more details.

Read story
Get incensed about source
Get distracted
Post rushed reply to wrong story
Priceless!

Re:Wired magazine? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013373)

You need to work on your English comprehension. It's rather obvious that this is the right story, what with it being the one which has Wired as a source.

Re:Wired magazine? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013473)

Perhaps you need to work on your comprehension? The source is the Chronicle of Higher Education, not Wired. Wired gets a passing mention because they gave this guy an award. But they have nothing to do with the article beyond that.

Re:Wired magazine? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014279)

So you've spotted the Wired reference in the summary then, and understand why I took issue with Slashdot using an award they've bestowed on someone as being meaningful in any way?

Re:Wired magazine? (2)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014301)

The summary was taken practically verbatim from the first paragraph of the article. Slashdot has nothing to do with that reference. I didn't say you commented on the wrong story, but this has absolutely nothing to do with Wired beyond your having dragged Wired into the discussion.

Re:Wired magazine? (3, Interesting)

biohazard35 (2499308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014207)

For the people who don't want to find what he's talking about, here's the comment from Raspberry Pi about wired:

Ha – no, that was something else entirely. Wired asked us to give them a copy of our BOM. We told them we couldn’t do that because it’d land us in hot water with our suppliers (particularly Hynix and Broadcom); if their other customers were to use our BOM to demand similar pricing, we’d be in trouble. So instead, they *made up* a BOM (which was gratuitously wrong). They told us they were doing this, and we asked them not to; saying we’d be happier for no article to appear at all. They published it anyway. Our suppliers started getting calls from their other customers, as predicted; we had a lot of apologising to do. Slightly less serious, but still damned annoying: Wired also demanded pictures of a cased version of the final board. This was well before Christmas, at which point we didn’t *have* any beta or final boards, still less any cased ones (the cases are being finished after the board themselves are finished at the end of this month). They didn’t take no for an answer, and kept asking, and asking, and askingand then photoshopped a case onto an alpha board (wrong size, wrong proportions) for their magazine. Which is misleading, but it’s nothing like as damaging as their efforts with the BOM were. Needless to say, they’re off the list for press samples, and they’re not getting any more interviews either (they ran Rob ragged in preparation for this, then never used any of the material they’d got from him). Wired seem to believe they’re still as relevant as they were in 1998. Luckily for us, they’re not; we’ve interacted with hundreds of journalists over the last six months or so, and not a single one of them has been as hard to work with as Wired were.

Re:Wired magazine? (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014235)

Here is the comment from Liz for anyone else wondering where [raspberrypi.org] it was:
(by the way, BOM means Bill of Materials)

Ha – no, that was something else entirely. Wired asked us to give them a copy of our BOM. We told them we couldn’t do that because it’d land us in hot water with our suppliers (particularly Hynix and Broadcom); if their other customers were to use our BOM to demand similar pricing, we’d be in trouble. So instead, they *made up* a BOM (which was gratuitously wrong). They told us they were doing this, and we asked them not to; saying we’d be happier for no article to appear at all. They published it anyway. Our suppliers started getting calls from their other customers, as predicted; we had a lot of apologising to do.

Slightly less serious, but still damned annoying: Wired also demanded pictures of a cased version of the final board. This was well before Christmas, at which point we didn’t *have* any beta or final boards, still less any cased ones (the cases are being finished after the board themselves are finished at the end of this month). They didn’t take no for an answer, and kept asking, and asking, and askingand then photoshopped a case onto an alpha board (wrong size, wrong proportions) for their magazine. Which is misleading, but it’s nothing like as damaging as their efforts with the BOM were.

Needless to say, they’re off the list for press samples, and they’re not getting any more interviews either (they ran Rob ragged in preparation for this, then never used any of the material they’d got from him). Wired seem to believe they’re still as relevant as they were in 1998. Luckily for us, they’re not; we’ve interacted with hundreds of journalists over the last six months or so, and not a single one of them has been as hard to work with as Wired were.

Is the lecture best after all? (4, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013255)

I doubt lectures are better. I've no idea why Professors are finding it doesn't work -- I suspect ineptitude, indolence/a lack of will, and/or a lack of communication skills.

Many lectures are held with about 300 people sitting half-asleep in one room. On average they probably pay attention for the first 10 minutes, and maybe a few other minutes on and off through the hour. Most do not ask questions.

How can that possibly be better than to have the same information imparted via a video or audio show, which they can 1. Pause, 2. Rewind, and 3. Watch at a time when they are fully ready to concentrate? Especially since they will have the ability to email, facebook, or twat questions -- and may even have questions after fully taking in the entire lecture.

Leave face time for labs and tutorials, forget lectures -- they are a relic of the middle-ages, along with the need to have term and vacation times that match the harvests.

I suspect that most objections to this are just stubbornness, laziness and fear of change. (Which also translates to fear of losing cash in Uni depts -- there really is far less reason for students to pay vast sums to go daily to over-large college buildings any more, nor reside in them either. And since Education is really a racket that's all about money, that's a reason to fear change.)

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013325)

How can that possibly be better than to have the same information imparted via a video or audio show, which they can 1. Pause, 2. Rewind, and 3. Watch at a time when they are fully ready to concentrate? Especially since they will have the ability to email, facebook, or twat questions -- and may even have questions after fully taking in the entire lecture.

Probably at least the male students are in fact more concerned with twat questions, and have very little time in which they are fully ready to concentrate.

tech / new ways and college don't mix that well (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013351)

tech / new ways and college don't mix that well

One example he has seen: a professor whose first comment on a student's blog is, "Hey, great ideas here, but just so you know, there are a few typos there in your first line." To Mr. Wesch, that sends the message that the blog is just another spot watched by the grammar police, rather than a new arena to explore. "Students can all sniff out an inauthentic place of learning," the professor argues. "They think, If it's a game, fine, I'll play it for the grade, but I'm not going to learn anything."

Well there lot's of classes that fall into the but I'm not going to learn anything / I don't need this and there also the classes that fall into the high level theory area that should be toned down / cover a area that is used in real jobs.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013541)

The short answer is that while it's true students may be half asleep, left to do the work entirely on their own, most of them don't. Or at least not until it's too late. Even if the students only half pay attention, they are adding their own notes to the lectures, augmenting their copy of the powerpoint with what you say (fill in the blank power points work remarkably well, where the student fills in the answers during the lecture), but when it comes time to study the notes they're relearning the material, not learning from scratch.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that in a profession that is ~40% about your ability to lecture, you'd have a bunch of people who are good at giving lectures that students understand and find engaging. And those same people trying to completely change what they do doesn't always work. This guy, who is essentially researching experiments in teaching may be good at it because first, he's tried a few beginning steps and knows how to use that to control the classroom, even if he didn't realize it was important. Students might also like it because of the novelty of 'lets try this' or because what he did maps particularly well to the problem he's trying to solve. But trying to use twitter in a classroom needs to map to a particular problem you're trying to solve, trying to do ODE's where everyone starts tweeting about which DE they are isn't going to actually teach you anything about solving DE's. Tutorial exist to reinforce what is in lectures, not to replace them. Sometimes (especially in first year) there isn't much difference, because a lot of the lectures are just an effort to make sure everyone has the same background, since every province, state, country etc. are different.

The era of 'chalk' is mostly gone, but where it served a purpose it still does. If you're doing math, explaining what you're writing, why you're writing it, in a slow deliberate fashion is conveying that information.

Keep in mind that a large part of what universities are is accreditation bodies and places of research. The people who teach need to actually do this stuff on a day to day basis, and take time out from that to teach it. You need to make sure that everyone with a degree in CS, or who has taken 3rd year programming languages has gotten a particular experience. Sure, you can spend 36 hours watching lectures from some other universities, but how do you know what from that is important (no assignments after all), how do you demonstrate that you learned it? On your own trying to solve real problems you need to know what you're trying to use to solve a problem. It's been a while since I took programming languages, but I know what a logic language is enough to know if I have a problem to solve that might use it. A physicist may have vaguely heard something about what logic languages are, but has no actual sense of how to use a logic language to solve a problem (this sort of thing happens a lot to physicists because they're expected to be programmers, but then they get almost no formal training in CS, and so they don't know languages or algorithms or automated software testing well, all of which would be super handy). Yes, you *can* learn all of these things on your own, from wikipedia or from some videos, but you need to know what you're looking for. The great strength of wikipedia is that it immediately connects you to connected information, which also lets you get easily distracted. I'm not sure about the US, but at least in canada, our graduation rates and times are carefully monitored. If you aren't getting kids out the door in whatever average, I think it's about 4.5 years for 4 year programme, they start doing extra reviews of what you're up to and so on, and, eventually, if you can't reasonably get people completed on time, you can't take on students and your programme disappears. That's rare, because there are a lot of things you can do to fix it, and there's some fairly complicated analysis that goes into determining how a programme is doing.

Being able to pause and rewind only helps if you didn't hear something. It doesn't help when you don't understand what was said, and can't even quietly ask the person sitting next to you. Sure, it would be nice if you could always be fully prepared for lectures. For whatever reason there's a psychological attachment to 'I paid for it I may as well show up', but if you can't organize your life around being on time for class, how are you going to organize your life around being on time for work? Or right, university is so damn expensive you have to work until 3 am on thursdays to afford to be there. That's a somewhat separate problem. It does mean that you're relearning the material when you look at your own notes though, and that's better than the night before an exam trying to watch some guy on a video and hoping you can figure out what he's talking about.

The era of professors who won't talk to you outside of class or won't answer e-mails is mostly gone. Sometimes you find profs who won't answer e-mail, but they get teaching assistants who do.

The objections, as stated in TFA, came from the fact that all of these other things didn't work. Not because they didn't try. Now *why* they didn't work is an interesting question. And you know who best to figure it out? Right, professors, at universities, who are experimenting constantly to try and make the learning experience better.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (0)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013573)

education is a racket to make money, and this guy -- not a teacher, much less an experienced one, by any stretch of the imagination -- proposing twitter and youtube is the saviour? lol?

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (3, Interesting)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013715)

Lectures are marvelous, if you, the student, has put in enough effort to be able to actually concentrate for a full hour. I've taught a lot. I've won awards for my teaching. I often brag that if I was able to teach my non-mathematically inclined cousin enough algebra to get a B in his college course (we were the same age at the time, so perhaps tutoring is a better term), I can teach just about anyone just about anything. The key is that the student must be motivated.

So, why are lectures good for that? If you can watch a video of a lecture at any point, most students aren't going to bother, or are going to put off watching until the last possible second. When they watch the video, they can be easily distracted by phone calls, tweets, pulling out their phone to surf something else that came into their head, their roommates coming home, their dogs needing to go for a walk, whatever. When you're in lecture (at least one of my lectures), such distractions do not happen. Distractions make learning impossible. Having a live lecture that happens at a given time and at no other, means students must arrange their schedules to be there. A few will make even more effort and will be awake and prepared. I make it clear in my lectures that everyone is expected to be that way: awake and prepared. I call on people, even in the big lecture halls. I'm tough. I expect a lot, I assign a ton of work, and I grade hard. But students learn, and learn a tremendous amount.

Although I can teach, such lectures aren't for everyone, clearly. I don't hand-hold, unless the student absolutely requires it, and then only in a one-on-one session ... and usually that brief hand-holding jumpstarts the students out of their overwhelmed haze and they do pretty well.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013909)

Let's put it in engineer terms. Lectures have a feedback loop. I'm goign through a professional class rihgt now,with a bunch of New Guys. I was transfered laterally into the job, have blown through the online courses and not learned a damn thing about it. That was a waste of 80 syllabus hours, and about 15 clickthing through and grep'ing the test answers.

However, without me verbalizing anything in class, I'm learning the same material. Probably, some of it is prior exposure. However, motivation it ain't. I already bitched aobut hte online classes and mya ss is going to get fired if I figure that shit out. The big difference, though, is the feedback loop. With 25 in the class, the lecturer can see the "what the fuck" look on people's faces. Not so much with a video camera. Yes, they do that. Good lecturers do it in a hall of 100. Shitty ones fail when lecturing one on one. But, youtube will fail every single fucking time.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39018827)

Lectures like you describe may work well or be essential for poorly motivated ans easily distracted students (see John Holt or John Taylor Gatto about that) who are jumping through career hoops, but in a different paradigm, systemic needs might be different. The central issue is that most schools are not primarily educatioanl instituions first, whatever they call themselves, and most students are not at schools to get a real education (whatever they say).

That said, if I was back in college, I'd probably want to be one of your students, since I've generally liked lectures. Even if they are not interesting, something about them tends to give me unrelated ideas I can scribble in my notes. :-)

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013955)

Do you actually teach? Most lectures are at least somewhat interactive. The lecturer takes cues from the audience and the audience can usually ask questions. You lose all that watching a video.

If the lecturer is poor, a video of that lecture is also going to be poor. But very few lecturers are actually so poor that they completely miss all cues from their audience.

A lot of the gimmicks people have thought up to replace or liven up lectures really do need to be thought out. Things like clickers - I've found all they do is give the lecturer and the audience an excuse not to actually participate out loud. Twitter in the classroom sounds like it has even less rational thought behind it.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015207)

I think it has rational thought, from the people who are investing in social media anyway. Just like Apple who used to advocate useless computers in elementary schools and ended up with unused Apple IIs in warehouses, the point is to sell stuff to clueless schools and frightened parents.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39018141)

Do you actually teach? Most lectures are at least somewhat interactive. The lecturer takes cues from the audience and the audience can usually ask questions.

The interactive part of a lecture is usually small, otherwise it'd be a tutorial.

If you could get the noninteractive part out of the way with videos or even reading, that frees up the lecturer's time to go through the bits the students are struggling with.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029495)

Interaction doesn't have to be question and answer. A reasonable lecturer takes cues from the audience. Even poor lecturers can usually tell if the audience is lost, falling asleep, or walking out. Most people are also better lecturers in front of a class. Put them on video and watch a weak lecturer turn into a horrible one.

When I was in university a long time ago nobody had thought of video (oh, yes, they had, and it sucked), but the professors all had recommended readings that should be done before the lecture. Nobody read them.

Video lectures are great for people who can't attend class for some reason, or occasionally for review afterwards. They're not a superior replacement for a live lecture. And no, assigning the lecture as homework and replacing the lecture time with a seminar doesn't usually make sense either. Seminars are already generally poorly attended and office hours even more so. When I was a TA with three office hours every week I think I had an average of about two students with five minute questions per semester. As an instructor the ratio goes up, but it's 80% students who want to argue about their grade. Once I did get an e-mail from about a quarter of the class... to tell me I'd forgotten to put a formula on the formula sheet. On the other hand, even a mediocre lecturer usually gets at least a few questions per lecture, and everyone gets to hear the answer.

Students in general just don't a) do proactive homework (if there's no deadline and nobody checking, it's not getting done) or b) think up questions ahead of time and then remember to ask them. Most of the latest tech-related teaching strategies seem to be aimed squarely at the "ideal" student, who makes up maybe a few percent of an average undergrad class. Possibly a little higher in med school.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013989)

I doubt lectures are better. I've no idea why Professors are finding it doesn't work -- I suspect ineptitude, indolence/a lack of will, and/or a lack of communication skills.

Many lectures are held with about 300 people sitting half-asleep in one room. On average they probably pay attention for the first 10 minutes, and maybe a few other minutes on and off through the hour. Most do not ask questions.

How can that possibly be better than to have the same information imparted via a video or audio show, which they can 1. Pause, 2. Rewind, and 3. Watch at a time when they are fully ready to concentrate? Especially since they will have the ability to email, facebook, or twat questions -- and may even have questions after fully taking in the entire lecture.

The real problem here is that teaching manuals are inadequate, and teacher training courses are in adequate. I've done a 4-week course in teaching English to foreigners, and what I noticed was that everything taught to me was superficial. I was told about various types of teaching techniques, methods, and tasks. I was told how to deliver and present them, but never was it explained to me why I should use a technique -- how to choose one. Never was I taught how to build a task from the ground up so that it was focused and coherent. All I was taught to do was commit arbitrary tasks to paper and get on with it.

But this wasn't just this course. I went through loads of books trying to find the information that was missing from my course. I went through all the standard textbooks for teachers, and it wasn't there. My father was a teacher, and in all his CPD it was missing too.

So this guys advice will be lacking in the same way. It won't tell you how to build the material meaningfully; it won't tell you when to do what -- all it will give you is a rough description of the shape of the tasks he does.

Now I believe face-to-face lectures still have one advantage that nothing else can replace: spontaneous and semi-spontaneous talk is messy, and as soon as you try to commit something to video, to paper, or to an on-line description, you eliminate that mess. But often that messiness serves a genuine pedagogical purpose. On the simplest level, it slows the language down, and gives the listener more time to process the content (which is new to the listener, remember). More subtely, it also helps the lecturer create a better structure in the students' minds to understand what's going on.

Here's a completely made-up example using false anatomy.

The book version

As can be seen in fig. 12, the whombombic nerve splits into the tremblific nerve and the gronoral nerve at the whombobic plexus. A trapped tremblific nerve can cause discomfort after periods of inactivity.

The lecture version

Have a look at this slide. You see here...? [waves pointer in a circle] Just there, above the... the area here, called the whombombic plexus, there's a nerve bundle, and it branches. The right branch goes down to the gronorus, so it calls.. erm we call we call it the gronoral nerve. The left branch heads off along the tremblus, and it's called the tremblific nerve. You might not know anything about the tremblific nerve, but have you ever had shooting pains down your left side when you've been lying in place too long? There's a good chance that's your tremblific.

I suspect that most objections to this are just stubbornness, laziness and fear of change. (Which also translates to fear of losing cash in Uni depts -- there really is far less reason for students to pay vast sums to go daily to over-large college buildings any more, nor reside in them either. And since Education is really a racket that's all about money, that's a reason to fear change.)

If this were true, then the lecture would only now be in use in the USA, because in much of the rest of the world, universities make their money from research grants and tuition is capped, fixed or subsidised at set rates. Tuition isn't a big money-spinner, and it's in the universities interests to make the teaching as cheap as possible . The objections aren't stubbornness, laziness or fear of change -- it is a plain and simple lack of understanding of how and why to change.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (2)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014195)

I know exactly what you are talking about, and I've seen it a lot. Teachers in academia (especially research universities) often don't receive a great deal of training in adult education. The stereotype is that they are specialists in their field first, and educators second. Some decent educators do emerge, but not often. Teaching universities are better at this, but

Compare this to the training that most youth educators receive and it seems silly. Especially when you consider that transition that young adults go through from High School to college. Even trainers in corporate environment typically have a stronger adult education background than professors.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015165)

Many lectures are held with 30 people attending who are paying attention. Lectures can work, and lectures can fail. You can't treat them all the same. The "social media" approaches will likely fail too, and sometimes they will mysteriously against all odds succeed.

The number one determination of success in college is with the student, not the professor.

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39015319)

Do you have a college degree?

Re: Is the lecture best after all? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015639)

The reason lectures continue is simply cost. Everyone who has ever spent time in higher education knows labs and tutorials are where the real learning occurs (as long as they are managed properly). The lecture is simply a means by which to distribute a major cost over many students.

For all the good lectures provide they might as well be a video. So schools can more carefully produce high quality video lectures that are simply downloaded and viewed. All produced during school breaks.

During the education period, learning could be restricted to tutorials and labs, run by suitably trained people either part time post grad students or full time professionals or a mix. This supervised by attending professors who actively participate at times to monitor and ensure quality of learning experience. Catch it is somewhat expensive.

The other choice is 'free' online learning for suitable courses with students paying only for testing and accreditation for suitably audited and vetted government institutions (privatised is hopeless as corruption will occur in either direction, pay for a pass or always fail and pay and pay again).

Leave it up to students to choose which option based upon their inherent skills and abilities. Those that can self learn save big bucks, those that cannot cost their parents heaps. Employers can then choose which education solution provides the most productive work force.

Cost is why lectures happen, education as a racket (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017971)

Cost is a main reason for teaching one to many.

Videoing decent presentations (rather than a professor messing around with a cheap web cam) also costs (equipment, recording and editing staff), so probably is more expensive to run initially than teaching lectures in big halls.

Getting people together in one space probably has other pedagogical values - though you are correct it is possible to have distance based university level education, e.g. The Open University [open.ac.uk] . Even the Open University tries to find group learning spaces for its students though (online forums, residential summer schools) as it believes there is pedagogical value in students sharing a space to work and learn in.

Education as a racket that's all about money? - I suppose this depends on your philosophy. Many people believe there is more to education than just making money, e.g. the bettering of people, social value, psychological self-realisation, broader socio-economic concerns like reducing crime.

He's doing it all wrong. (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013273)

The only way to teach your students is by subjecting them to routine beatings and starvation. Any uranium-harvesting overlord knows this fundamental principle of teaching.

They need to flip their paradigm 180... (4, Interesting)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013311)

...have kids watch taped lectures at home, and come to the classroom to do problems and ask questions of the professor in person. Make "homework" "classwork", and make lectures "homework".

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013353)

Horrible idea. I'm going to guess 90% of the kids will not watch the lectures at all, and it will be a race to the bottom as far as grading standards go. Ideally EVERYTHING should be done in the classroom to ensure all the kids are actually doing the work. Questions should be asked DURING lecture, and also DURING a recitation where work is done and graded.

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014711)

So pretend for a moment 90% of the kids don't watch the lectures at all. The show up to the first "classwork" session, have obviously not seen the lecture, and the professor kindly informs them that they've just failed the class, please come back next semester.

If you want *everything* done in the classroom, I think you're arguing for military boarding schools where students are given no choice but to actually perform under the strict supervision of superiors.

I'll argue the other way, and assert that what is necessary is both freedom, but also personal responsibility. If 90% of the kids don't watch the lectures, then they get to fail the class. Period. Done.

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013439)

Recently, I scouted out a class that had all of its lectures from the previous year online. I watched a few of them before signing up for the class, and I couldn't stand it -- I couldn't focus my attention on them, and sometimes even started nodding off. I took the class anyway and loved it. If I had a class that revolved around watching lectures online, I'd drop it, and if I was in a program where online lectures were the only option, I'd have to transfer or quit school.
 
Normally, I'd argue that classes should focus on what's not covered in the book or on helping students with their particular problems in understanding the material (or in demonstrating the material, if that's applicable and realistic), but for this class the books were all optional, the lectures really were irreplaceable and at least half the material was new every year. They did broadcast the classes live so you could skip them, which I did a couple of times, but I wouldn't have gotten nearly as much out of the class if they had made videos of classes homework. God, even just writing that reminds me of the intense boredom of watching educational videos (and yes, I've seen Khan Academy).

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014725)

I watched a few of them before signing up for the class, and I couldn't stand it -- I couldn't focus my attention on them, and sometimes even started nodding off.

Did you ever nod off in class?

the lectures really were irreplaceable and at least half the material was new every year.

What kind of class was it that required new material every year? iOS programming?

God, even just writing that reminds me of the intense boredom of watching educational videos (and yes, I've seen Khan Academy).

I'm not sure if I understand the difference between intense boredom in a lecture hall filled with 500 kids, or intense boredom watching the same lecture in my pajamas at 2am.

Perhaps what we need is only the best of the best to create captivating lectures that will overcome your intense boredom, and then have your average joe educator in person help you through actually doing problems and exercises.

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014911)

2 things: On yuotube, the lecturer isn't getting any feedback from you. Yes, I've gotten feedback form a lecture hall with 500 students. Fortunately, the ones who give a shit sit in the first 10 rows or so.

other thing: at 2:00 AM, you're not watching a lecture in your pajamas. It may be playing, and you'll be playing, but that thing in your hand won't be a pen.

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013981)

Yeah, people seem to think that's a new idea. Teachers have ALWAYS assigned readings to be completed before class. Does everyone do them? Not a chance. An organized lecture with questions taken during the lecture is much more effective.

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014693)

Actually, I think that's debatable - my bet is that you're going to get more drop off during a lecture than failure to actually watch a lecture video on your own time, complete with fast forward and rewind, but I'd be open to see actual data to back up either option.

It may be that assigned readings might be more difficult for some folk who aren't very adept at learning by reading, than watching a lecture, but I think in the end it all comes down to personal responsibility. In the end, it is the student's responsibility to learn, and no amount of teaching can change that.

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (0)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014829)

Current system: professor gives lectures to a group of students, and the students can ask for clarification as he continues. Students requiring more in-depth explanation can utilize the professor's office hours. Students are given small activities to do on their own initiative to help them discover holes in their learning and to test their progress.

Your system: if a student doesn't understand a lecture, he's screwed. Classtime problems don't help him at all because -- according to you -- if he doesn't already know the material he should be failed for not watching the lectures. Office hours are completely redundant. Classes separate into two groups -- people who understood the lectures and therefore don't need class time (why have the professor?) and people who can't learn the material by watching youtube and are therefore failed (why have the professor?).

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016503)

professor gives lectures to a group of students, and the students can ask for clarification as he continues.

In a lecture hall of 500, you simply don't have time to get the lecture done, and even answer a single question from 1/10th of the audience.

Students requiring more in-depth explanation can utilize the professor's office hours

That begs a few questions - 1) lmgtfy.com and 2) just how many students can a single professor see during office hours? Scalability is a harsh mistress.

Your system: if a student doesn't understand a lecture, he's screwed.

No, if a student doesn't *watch* the lecture, he's screwed. Not understanding the application of the content of a lecture to classical "homework" problems is the whole point of moving that to become "classwork".

Classes separate into two groups -- people who understood the lectures and therefore don't need class time (why have the professor?) and people who can't learn the material by watching youtube and are therefore failed (why have the professor?).

Actually, that's a *really* good point - why have the professor? For those people who need one-on-one tutoring, have them pay for an education run by personal tutors (aka professors). For those people who can just learn by reading and watching recorded lectures and going through curriculum on their own, why not just let them only pay for getting tests administered and graded? With a two-tiered pricing system, you could become much more efficient in actually educating people.

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (0)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016743)

The 500-person classes (incidentally the same ones that could be learned through google) probably don't need a professor, and sure, you could just distribute taped lectures. But that's not the important part of even a useful undergrad degree; any reasonable institution will have advanced topics classes of much smaller size and much more difficult material, which cannot be effectively learned on one's own. (Over decades? Sure. But that's woefully inefficient.)

Plenty of classes have grades only from tests and no required attendance. That is, roughly, your "only pay to get tests administered and graded" plan (albeit without the discount). Yet students who fail to show up for the optional lecture do very poorly when compared to those that do.

You appear to be seriously suggesting that there is no benefit from trying to learn a topic from someone who has mastered it. I can't think of a single instance or example of that being borne out (difficulties of quantification aside).

Re:They need to flip their paradigm 180... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017123)

But that's not the important part of even a useful undergrad degree; any reasonable institution will have advanced topics classes of much smaller size and much more difficult material, which cannot be effectively learned on one's own.

Name one. I managed a double major in electrical engineering and computer science without ever seeing a class smaller than 100.

You appear to be seriously suggesting that there is no benefit from trying to learn a topic from someone who has mastered it.

I think then I'm not communicating clearly - I'm suggesting there is no benefit in being required to learn a topic from someone who has mastered it, *in person*. I get just as much out of Feynman's lecture series today as I would had I been alive when he gave them. While at one point in time, we may not have had any choice about how to learn a craft, or how to learn a topic, today, with literally a *world* of information at ones fingertips, there simply no reason to limit ourselves to what can be done in person, *especially* when the in person time is really just a token of effort which we use to rationalize a professor's salary.

If there were any topics that absolutely required in-person training, I'd assert they're generally limited to physical ones. Martial arts, dance, machining, all probably benefit a great deal from in-person, hand-to-hand presence of a master - it's certainly *possible* to learn without that (note the rediscovery of european sword arts, that were abandoned for hundreds of years), but it helps in those cases to actually have someone there.

For intellectual pursuits, be it from theoretical physics, to women's studies, to even english majors, I've got little faith that the in-person presence of a master is truly of any great benefit. Certainly, I've learned more on my own regarding intellectual pursuits, from proxy "masters" who didn't have to be physically (or even temporally) present, than I've ever learned from any in person mentor.

News Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013323)

It was just announced

that

uh

I forget. It was pretty good, though.

(Feed me)

Wow a TED presenter (1)

comrade1 (748430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013349)

Please tell me, who hasn't given a TED talk? And how did he condense such a complicated topic into 7 slides?

Re:Wow a TED presenter (2)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013415)

Simple. He engaged the audience and convinced them that a fun group project would be to create additional slides to fill in the blanks.

Throw money at it! Do something wantonly radical! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013571)

As a recent high school graduate, I'm glad I escaped the impending paradigm of "21st century classrooms." The cushy superintendents/administration just throw a bunch of money to try to "reinvent learning", by buying the entire school netbooks(running XP with tons of proprietary crapware, effectively killing their usefulness). Meanwhile most kids just used them for browsing facebook, etc. instead of working on assignments or paying attention to class.

screw big lectures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013591)

try smaller lecture rooms and more teachers, make it personable instead of factory-farm 1 size fits all education "models".

More like... (3, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013617)

... rethinking student selection. My god, there are too many people going to school who are not scholastically inclined nor have the work ethic. We instead of created a culture of stupidity and status seeking based on false promises of what can be expected out of an 'education'.

Re:More like... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014893)

Yay! Apprenticeships & Trade-Guilds For Everyone!

Re:More like... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017451)

Not everyone is cut out for university, this is a fact of life.

there is no silver bullet in teaching (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013673)

Pioneers tend to put a lot of energy into it to make it work. This applies not only to social media experiments in the classroom,teaching with technology has since decades proven to be tough for teachers. Before changing a teaching paradigm, one has to see whether it works in various setups. Things have to be transferable and sustainable. The factor "teacher" and the amount of supports remains important in education. What works for one teacher can be tough for an other. What works in one institution is impossible in an other. Its not only money or technology, it can also be the teaching culture which makes a particular teaching method forbidding, or a success.

Classroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013711)

Do students ever actually learn anything in a classroom?

lack of a a sense of purpose cover other parts of (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013721)

lack of a a sense of purpose cover other parts of college

"Mr. Wesch is not swearing off technology—he still believes you can teach well with YouTube and Twitter. But at a time when using more interactive tools to replace the lecture appears to be gaining widespread acceptance, he has a new message. It doesn't matter what method you use if you do not first focus on one intangible factor: the bond between professor and student."

Tech schools / community colleges have smaller class sizes with better bonding between professor and student." They also have professor who are / have done more real would work so they have more then just book skills to teach off of.

Also stuff like loads filler classes and a over load of theory in some classes.

Now days what is the purpose of not having lot's night / class times that fit in to people who work full time / day jobs.

4 years + plans why can't college be slimmed down / be in taken in smaller chunks so you can say take 1-2 years in the class room maybe with some kind of a apprenticeship type setup with on going ongoing education that is not just higher EDU.

Why forced high cost meal plans? I have head of people buying lots of candy and other junk food just to use up cash on the plan before it times out.

Forced room and board now that does data back to the past but now days you can rent own you own for less (for better / newer rooms) and find room mates and save even more.

Re:lack of a a sense of purpose cover other parts (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015009)

lack of a a sense
between professor and student." They
They also have professor who are / have done more real would work
they have more then just book skills to teach off of.
Also stuff like loads filler classes
and a over load
Now days what is the purpose of not having lot's night / class times that fit in to people who work full time / day jobs. [?]
4 years + plans why can't college
so you can say take 1-2 years in the class room maybe
with on going ongoing education
Why forced high cost meal plans? I have head of people buying
Forced room and board now that does data back to the past but now days you can rent own you own for less (for better / newer rooms) and find room mates and save even more.

I was going to rate you "funny" for all the irony.
Looks like we should re-examine our elementary & high schools as well... This is truly a 'cry for help' if I've ever seen one. [youtube.com]

Skype & (locally) Ham Radio are -better- choic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013725)

0. So, the trouble with "modern" social media has to do with the non-deletable histories.

1. While -parties- to a Skype text-chat can record (& take elsewhere) the texts of those chats, no one else can; and teachers can disable the history-recording functions on all involved Skype-clients, to preclude even that becoming an issue.

2a. In places where the Internet hasn't reached (or isn't fast enough or its data may be deemed too costly for Skype), Ham Radio can link classrooms, eg, for inter-class debates or other competitive or even cooperative project work, including inter-cultural exchanges.

It's not hard for students and/or teachers (or others in the local community) to -become- licensed Radio Amateurs, and - at least in places of exceptional need - there may willing donors of equipment can often be found. (It can be enough for a Radio Club, at each end, to be licensed, to allow non-commercial radio communications between classrooms to happen.)

2b. Where there are fewer than 2 cooperating -licensed- Radio Amateurs available to "make the radio connection" between classrooms, Citizens Band can be used (usually over much shorter distances).

Of course, no personal license are require for use of the Citizens Band, with normal (ie, -approved-) radios, and CB can even be used for -commercial- purposes; so, eg, if the 2 connected classrooms are creating a sample/model business venture (on paper or in Real Life), they can conduct business over the Citizens Band, as well as doing other non-commercial project work on-air.

(In either case, SSB mode (which can also be -fun- to tune-in) reduces electrical power usage - at a time when the cost of electricity is rising - is a good choice, when available on all radios. For VHF & UHF bands, FM is the choice.)

It's only those "modern" social media who -commercial- purposes include saving, using and/or selling their users' private data, -and/or- whose technical features make it easy for other applications to "harvest" that data, that are problematic.

Let's not forget the -early- social networking technologies... which probably -felt- warmer, because the warm human voices weren't lost, as they tend to be on "modern" social media, ("Networking" has the connotation similar to the one it has in business circles.)

So, Skype and Ham & CB Radio links can be more useful in inter-classroom / inter-school Language Learning.

And... Generally speaking, no one is out there trying to "make a buck" from recording your Skype or Ham / CB Radio conversations.

Actually, I should be careful about including Skype in the list, ie, since Microsoft's acquisition of Skype... :-/

Call Me Old School... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013779)

...but I have found lectures to work out better than anything else. I'm a former tech professional now teaching in the humanities, so my lack of interest in social media classrooms has nothing to do with either closed-minded-ness or lack of aptitude with technology. Lectures just tend to work better for me and for every other professor I know. It's not always clear what's going to be grasped quickly, what's going to need more explanation, or even what side issue will grab the attention of the class. Every class is different; only a competent lecturer can adapt to the individual needs of the class. A video can't decide to skip over the point that everyone seems to have grasped more quickly than anticipated but spend more time on the issue that - unexpectedly - proved quite difficult. A video can't engage members of the class directly.

It's important not to confuse the attributes of a badly delivered lecture (and there are many) with the attributes of lecturing as such.

Teacher quality NOT technology (2)

khb (266593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013887)

Why is anyone surprised that the quality of the teacher and not the technique is really the high order bit? A great teacher inspires. A good teacher facilitates. Mediocre or worse teachers bore.

Bored students do poorly.

Re:Teacher quality NOT technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39015171)

Actually, research indicates that methods are far more important to student learning than 'teacher quality' (whatever that means)

"Michael Wesch" not found on TED.com...??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013913)

Can't find -any- TED talks by this guy... What am I missing...???

Re:"Michael Wesch" not found on TED.com...??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014437)

Really? I found a bunch... mostly TEDx though...

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Michael+Wesch+ted [lmgtfy.com]

Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013973)

One solution is not a panacea. One solution is not the One True Solution For All.

Each person is separate in their experiences, but identical in terms of responses. This means no one teaching style or pedagalogical method will work universally. Today we still face the industrial model (19th century!!!) of teaching in the form of K-12 in North America. We also face people who grow up thinking that One True Solution exists, or that greedy algorithms will always return optimal results (spoiler alert: it's not true!). Life is not black and white.

Critical thinking at an adult level seems to be scarce. :( One must practice evidence-based reasoning (aka: Science) if one is to reach one's intellectual goals in a reasonable time frame. If a reasonable, statistically sound model and test of this educational model showed results which indicated wide-spread success in initial trials, *then* this would be surprising. But since this was simply one case (which is not sufficient for a proper statistical result!), it's *hardly* surprising that one anecdotal case would lead to an unreproducible result. This is *not science*. This is *not statistically interesting*. This is *not surprising*.

No, it is not best. (1)

RandomAvatar (2487198) | more than 2 years ago | (#39013995)

The best way to teach or to learn depends entirely on the individual. This is the second article I have seen on this attempting to figure out the "best" way to teach, yet they never bring up having a variety of learning environments. By having a variety of learning environments, the professors can teach using the method that suits them best, and the students can choose the learning style that suits them best. By attempting to find the best way to teach they also help to undermine the individuals that do not learn as well using those methods.

Mastering Physics (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014135)

Is the perfect example of this technology based learning failing miserably.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go waste 3 hours on material I already understand battling inconsistent significant figure requirements and badly worded questions.

Doesn't work with everyone (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014305)

Proving that the most important parts are still the teachers themselves. Technology is just a tool, and as such can be used well, but can also be misused.

Re:Doesn't work with everyone (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015091)

Proving that the most important parts are still the teachers themselves. Technology is just a tool, and as such can be used well, but can also be misused.

I think I understand... What you're saying is: "With great response-ability comes great responsibility."
Seems Legit.

RTFM (1)

Nicknamename (2572429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014925)

So, how about teaching people to learn using text and diagrams. Maybe that could be a useful skill to have...

Rethinking the classroom (2)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015113)

Stop rethinking the classroom every other day.
All "classroom rethinkers" ever propose is distracting kids with useless technology.

Re:Rethinking the classroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39018159)

AT LAST!!! A BREATH OF FRESH AIR AND COMMON SENSE!!!

Good God, please come to my school and teach! All we have over here is social media morons who can't get over their boner for this "2.0" crap that infests the internet anymore... Tweet this, Facebook that, go onto some Google docs site... Fucking ridiculous.

college lacks a sense of purpose (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015239)

Lack of a sense of purpose cover other parts of college

"Mr. Wesch is not swearing off technology—he still believes you can teach well with YouTube and Twitter. But at a time when using more interactive tools to replace the lecture appears to be gaining widespread acceptance, he has a new message. It doesn't matter what method you use if you do not first focus on one intangible factor: the bond between professor and student."

Tech schools / community colleges have smaller class sizes with better bonding between professor and student."
They also have professors who are / have done more real would work so they have more than just book skills to teach off of.

Also stuff like loads filler classes and an over load of theory in some classes.

Now days what is the purpose of not having lot's night / class times that fit in to people who work full time / day jobs.

4 years + plans why can't college be slimmed down / be in taken in smaller chunks so you can say take 1-2 years in the class room maybe with some kind of a apprenticeship type setup with ongoing education that is not just higher EDU.

Why forced high cost meal plans? I have heard of people buying lots of candy and other junk food just to use up cash on the plan before it times out.

Forced room and board now that does date back to the past. But now days you can rent own you own for less (for better / newer rooms) and find roommates and save even more.

Best example of the old system vs the new (1)

CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017053)

This guy is one of the best teachers the old system has to offer, as demonstrated by his awards. He and the old system fit well together. Changing anything is likely to lower his performance. That does not say anything about all those other teachers that may be less 'optimized' for the current system.

IMHO the most important part of a lecture is that you have to be physically in the same room with no option but to listen to the teacher. Even if you are not focused you will still hear most of what he says.

New Tech Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39017955)

There is a new approach to teaching headed up by a non-profit organization called New Tech Network. It is a project based interactive curriculum alternative for Public and Private High Schools across the country. I had the privilege of working with this company and their Learning Applications last year and was thoroughly impressed! Take a look at http://www.newtechnetwork.org/ they are already in a number of California, Arizona, and other state schools!

the best, apart from everything else (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39018197)

One of my profs used to say a lecture is a method of transmitting information from the teacher's page to the student's without passing through the brain of either.

He reckoned even a slow reader could read in half an hour what would take an hour to speak out loud.

Instructors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39018315)

Someone on here posted the following comment:

"Stop rethinking the classroom every other day. All 'classroom rethinkers' ever propose is distracting kids with useless technology."

To this, I raise my goblet of froth as I whisper a toast to Valhalla and the warriors of old in hopes of a new beginning...

Accessing Google docs for classroom material, using someone's Facebook page to conduct a classroom "reflection", using Twitter to see an instructor's set of erroneous links to things they think are important; good god, I don't know how much more I can take. We're already drowning from the use of tools like Blackboard--especially when the instructors engineer their entire damn classroom around the use of that bloated piece of crap--and half the time, we're screwing with something else on the internet, like the above-mentioned "2.0" junk... Every student in this situation puts on a facade and acts like they're into it just to pull off their grade, but pull any one of them to the side outside of class and they'll all concur: it sucks and it sucks BIG TIME.

I have a class right now where everything is done through Blackboard (I'm an Education Technology grad student in the Midwest). Th instructor expects us to present over topics from our book when we have our face-to-face each week (we meet once each week for about 2.5 hours) while he just sits there and does nothing half the time. Rarely has he had anything useful to add where you leave class feeling like you learned something... and while I understand that we're grad students with expectations of carrying on with our own outside-the-class efforts, this by no means implies that it relieves the instructor of his or her duties as our intellectual superior; he should help us learn, he should nurture our pursuit of knowledge and stop creating legwork, he should DO SOMETHING USEFUL AND WORTH HIS SALARY!

But no. He just sits there and rambles about fluff... And people wonder why the United States is falling behind?

This semester, he tried to get us all to use "Second Life" for our classroom discussions... Seriously? I mean, the very last thing I want to do is add another layer of hassle to my already hassle-ridden life.

"social media" and "classroom" (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019021)

Fuck that noise. It should be perfectly legal -- in fact, *required* -- for teachers/professors to shoot any student found using Facebook in the classroom with a tranqulizer dart.

Students: Share your views (1)

jyosim (904245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019609)

This article is part of a series at The Chronicle of Higher Education, and as the next part of it, we're asking students to share their views on teaching via short video comments. The info: Today, professors are letting students pass virtual notes in class on Twitter. They're trying "clickers" that turn classrooms into game shows. They're videotaping their classes to let students watch lecture reruns to help cram for the test, or share the knowledge with the world on YouTube. They're monitoring how many minutes students spend reading online textbooks to see who needs help. The Chronicle is putting together a multimedia feature exploring the state of the college lecture, and how technologies point to new models. While some enthusiasts see the high-tech changes as a much-needed upgrade to an education model that is more than a thousand years old, others see dangers ahead. Is all that gear a distraction? Is academic freedom threatened when Web tools and video make public the once-sacred space of the classroom? If you're a current college student, fire up your laptop’s Web cam, or your smartphone's video camera, and let us know whether your professor's lectures are boring, inspiring, or something in between. Would you rather something more interactive happen in class, or should lectures stick around for the long haul? Please don’t name your professors, and you don't have to give your name if you prefer not to. One view often left out of the current debates about teaching is that of the student, so your input can help shape the conversation among college leaders. We’ll feature the best videos on our Web site, and I’ll show some of the clips at a talk I'm giving at this year’s SXSW interactive festival in Austin, Texas. Just post your video to YouTube or other video-sharing site and headline it LectureFail?, or send the clip directly to jeff.young@chronicle.com. We'll be taking submissions until the end of February. More details here: http://chronicle.com/article/Lecture-Fail/130085/ [chronicle.com]

Empty buzz words. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022969)

Pretty much anything involving the phrase "social media" sounds like some bullshit marketing scheme to me. I have heard some great ideas for replacing or augmenting the venerable lecture, but I don't think it's going to be replaced by Twitter.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?