Have we reached the limits of what technology can do in the traditional f2f classroom? The standard seems to be a classroom equipped with a computer and projector, an Internet connection, and a DVD player. One step up might be a Smart board or even a portable write-on device to allow the professor to walk around and write on the screen. Add to that a clicker system, like the Turning Point kit we recently purchased. All–as I’ve said in the past–a version of show and tell. Even if the occasional student is called on to use the equipment, it’s still a one-person show. Clickers come the closest to facilitating group participation, but it’s reactionary participation, not creative.
So, let’s say that we then have ubiquitous wireless and can guarantee that every student has a computer in the classroom (put aside the arguments against that for the moment). In the span of your 80-115 minutes of student-captivity, you can demand participation via writing, searching for resources, visiting Web events. But, then, don’t you have to justify keeping the students captive doing things that can be done anywhere, anytime? Hmm.
Liberating mandatory classroom hours might be where technology really shows its face. If we can make content and learning mandatory instead of minutes and hours, isn’t that a better use of all our talents? Or not? You tell me.
(Geez, I’m almost afraid to click the submit on this one.)