You may recall from the Blog That Was, lovely lurkers, that each time I taught Composition I would assign the Mini-Essay, which is a very short research essay students write based on a list of topic choices. I then choose the top 3 Mini-Essays and let the class vote on which one is the winner. The winner gets to see their essay published here on Daily Cross-Swords. Welp, this semester I’m teaching 3 sections of Comp. So 3 batches of Mini-Essays were read, and 3 classrooms voted for winners from the top 3. Here is the first of….3 Mini-Essay winners from Comp I at FRCC. This one from the 2:30pm class; an essay on ed-tech by Charles Sigwarth. Please to enjoy. ~Jenn
Dude, Where’s my Prof?
by Charles Sigwarth
We’ve all heard the same hackneyed lines over and over: the Internet is the future, technology is what drives innovation today, and online correspondence is the new medium for human interaction. Yes, we do live in the digital era, and the technology available to educators and schools today presents a valuable set of opportunities for dynamic, interactive learning. That said, there’s a significant difference between utilizing technology to enhance the classroom experience, and using it as a crutch. Online and digital correspondences, when used as the primary form of communication between educators and their students, leaves plenty of room for misinterpretation, can slow the classroom dynamic, and instills a lack of face to face teacher-student interaction that drives the growth process of learning forward.
Technology, when used correctly, can be a godsend in the classroom, but when used improperly can be a detriment. When faced with the daunting set of multiple websites, passwords, and interfaces it can slow the process of teaching for both students and professors alike. In fact, according to a recent report put out by CQ Press, studies showed that “At the college level… nearly 64 percent of public-university faculty who have taught both online and traditional courses said in a 2009 survey that it took ‘somewhat more’ or ‘a lot more’ effort to teach online than in person. Nearly 85 percent said it takes more effort to develop online courses than regular ones”(Clemitt). Students in classrooms rely directly on educators to facilitate the learning process, but when a computer is put between the two and used as a medium for discourse and instruction, the quality of the communication is then solely tied to the educator’s ability to type out their ideas and expressions. Like many people, college professors and teachers the world over have varying aptitudes for working with technology, at least in an academic sense, hinging interpretations on typos and mistyped direction. While we’re on that topic, the significance of face to face interaction between teachers and students is monumental. An educator who can see a student face-to-face, interact and bond with them on an interpersonal level, and motivate and direct them in person is able to recognize issues that a student is facing that may not be apparent from behind a screen.
Technology is only as good as the person utilizing it. Computers and internet services are fallable, and while humans are as well, tech-based classrooms can be confusing and lack the interaction that helps both the student and educator do their jobs respectively. Educators in public schools and universities throughout the country are continually being pressured to conform to the online and digital medium, but in the process of that a crucial element of learning in lost– the human element.
Clemmitt, Marcia. “Digital Education.” CQ Researcher by CQ Press. Web. 10 Sept. 2015. <http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2011120200>.