Recovering

I’m in the middle of spring break here, but I haven’t really had much of a “break.”  I got back from PCEA yesterday, and I have spent a greater part of today thinking about how time changes.   I haven’t been to a PCEA conference in about 10 years, and back when I last attended, most sessions were geared towards scholarly work, which is fine, but sometimes hard to follow when one is a member of the audience.  This year, however, I was pleased to see the number of sessions geared towards creative works and pedagogy.  I ran into some old friends.  I got to meet writers Erin Murphy and Iris Jamahl Dunkle, (whose website appears to be down, so I linked to some of her poems) poets who are currently dabbling in creative nonfiction. 

Furthermore, I sat in on an excellent session on Saturday morning that discussed pedagogy.  One presenter talked about teaching humanities in a digital age; another talked about using Russian formalism to help children critically read texts, including Clifford and Franklin (I don’t have kids, so I was a bit surprised, but pleased, to find out that children read Clifford).  I found the second presenter’s mention of Vladimir Propp’s theories about folklore and fairy tales fascinating, and couldn’t help but think of Sandy’s latest discussion about fairy tales.

Overall, it was interesting to me how much discussion focused on technology and informational literacy. I am getting old, I am afraid, because when I first started attending conferences, technology was throwing a VHS movie in during class time or maybe using Power Point.  There’s so much out there, so much to learn.  It was pointed out that so many campuses insist that today’s students know everything about informational literacy and technology, which, as one presenter pointed out, simply isn’t true.  A young woman in the audience who said she was a student (undergraduate or graduate, I’m not sure.  She was probably in her early 20’s) said that she felt very overwhelmed about all the “technology” out there.  And just the other day, I had a whole bunch of students tell me that they wish teachers would go back to the chalk and blackboard and not use so much technology in the classroom.

Are we incorporating technology in the classroom because we believe that is what today’s students know or want?  How much is too much?  I’m afraid there are probably professors and teachers out there who use technology for the sake of using technology, and that’s it.  I know that I am not one of them (I still fumble with the DVD player in class).  I wonder what will change in another 10 years….

1 Comment »

  1. E Stelling Said:

    When I returned to college after so many years, I was too over whelmed with power point and technology, thank goodness I had a teenage son and a new husband who is an engineer, so they keep me updated on things…I laughed when you said ‘chalk and blackboard’…the mess LOL


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