Living in a world that is constantly changing and adapting around me, how can I not try my best to keep up with the times, and that means continually refreshing twitter to make sure Sarah Palin hasn’t done anything I need to know about, the Pope hasn’t said some inspiring, or the relative location of the S&P 500 all while ‘paying attention’ to my differential equations class. We live in a crazy time! How can you expect anyone to remain seated with so much technology transfer and information flowing into their front pockets, backpacks, glasses and wrist watches!? This is crazy! I’ll hear about it from a faculty member every now and again when someone write their entire dissertation without even uttering the word library or card catalog.
I don’t have an issue with how plugged in we are, but I do have an issue with when we choose to embrace the technology. Need to write a research paper? Research using google scholar, call experts using Webex, begin a draft with your colleagues from London on Dropbox, and make the presentation available to everyone through a blog or academic website. Yet, as soon as you step into my classroom if you even THINK about touching your phone, you are doomed and I will call you to the board to make an example out of you (full disclosure, I don’t do this, but at least one of my professors does/has). Why can’t I use the device/devices I am attached to all day to interact with the global classroom while I’m sitting in a physical classroom? If we, as instructors could encourage proper and beneficial usage of laptops and cell phones during class perhaps outside of class more collaboration would happen.
I do agree that we are all to quick to pickup our phone at the dinner table whenever we get a sports center alert, and that is a total different discussion, but I feel it is time for us to use these incredible tools as tools and stop speaking of them as taboo.