One argument I have heard against implementation of technology in the classroom is how faulty technology is. Teachers fear if a computer crashes they will lose all their data. Let me share with you a story about my class last night:
Last week, Prof G (pseudonym to protect the awesome) was reminded that he scheduled class in his syllabus on Veteran’s Day. He told the class that though the building would be closed, he hoped we would all still attend. As the course is dense (and we are all naive first years), we consented to class on our day off.
On Tuesday in the late afternoon, I showed up to the building at the usual time for class. We began class promptly and had just finished passing out the handouts for the day when the lights and power go out (did I mention the classroom has no windows). We all sat in the glow of my laptop (it’s statistics so everyone else brings paper) stunned for a second. We all walked out to the windowed foyer and one of the women in the class called maintenance.
We pondered why the power was out for around 15 minutes until we all slowly decided that, well, the show must go on. We collected our belongings and moved out into the foyer. Prof G began to use the windows as his whiteboard and we sat on the ground or couches. After a bit, two of the older students ran back into the darkness of the building and returned with a wheeled whiteboard. Prof G changed his expectations for the syllabus as he raced against the coming darkness.
Fortuitously, as he finished the last set of notes for the new goal, the lights returned. We took a break and reconviened in the more comfortable chairs in the classroom. We easily finished the lecture for the night and were dismissed around an hour early. In explaining this to my fiance when I returned home, he commented that this should be a poster with the caption Determination.
So, even in a classroom without computers, technology can fail, but even so, determination on the part of teachers and students can mean productivity continues.