Friday, May 04, 2012

My two classes each ended with class discussion. We talked about educational technology in one, and about class debriefing (mostly) in the other. The reaction of students to e-books is mixed. Even those who like kindles for other types of reading are not wild about electronic textbooks. Also, the "look" and reading experience of paper is satisfied on Kindles specifically and only -- not so much on other devices. I think this is one area of handhelds where apple is not the leader. A couple like the money savings or convenience of not having to carry around as much stuff, but most prefer a paper version. I wonder when, or if, that will ever change? They want to highlight with a pen. They think it is easier to flip to a page than move around electronically.

As usual, on campus students are skeptical about online learning. Several have taken an online class and most reported it was not a good experience. They felt it was more work, and the instructors did not interact with them enough. I shared with them the debate about digital badges rather than college credits and degrees.

The debriefing had it moments -- I added the article from the ASP and connected it to cultural insensitivity a la Heslep and Wagner. Most felt it was inappropriate stereotyping, a few felt everyone should lighten up. Then one student, who is an officer in the complaining organization spoke up. I am not sure whether she was upset by the dialogue -- but it wasn't very inflammatory and she is more than capable of defending herself. There are always surprises in the classroom, even on the last day of class. (For students and for me; I scrambled the groups by handing out paper slips of differing colors -- one more exercise in toleration.)

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