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School computer technology, necessary? - Page 3

post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdawson808
At least two of us are speaking form the point of view of teachers. There are plusses and minuses. But the fascination with making all things techy isn't necessarily good. Many of the old teaching techniques (such as memorizing mulitplication tables) have value. Is a PowerPoint presentation more effective than "chalk-and-talk" as we economists like to call it? Hard to say. It probably depends on the student. But I've had plenty tell me how bored they are with PP presentations.

b



Agreed. I think many factors contribute to the shrinking attention span. From my experience with students this is the major obstacle. I also have to constantly battle the - "this isn't exactly related to my specific major, so why should I waste my time" attitude. Some times I feel like the technolgy just adds one more layer of things to gripe at the prof about
post #32 of 45
Do schools still make students memorize the times table?
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
Do schools still make students memorize the times table?

I don't believe so, no. Surely a parent would know. Anyone?

b
post #34 of 45
my kids aren't old enough yet. but if they don't, i will.

btw, powerpoint is so easily abused it's not even funny. if there's one positive things schools could potentially do, it would be to teach the future generations how to design good powerpoint presentations. edward tufte wrote a whole manifesto pamphlet about the powerpoint problem.
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by faustian bargain
btw, powerpoint is so easily abused it's not even funny. if there's one positive things schools could potentially do, it would be to teach the future generations how to design good powerpoint presentations. edward tufte wrote a whole manifesto pamphlet about the powerpoint problem.

We've heard it called death by PowerPoint. Of course, you could also say that people could also learn to write better e-mails (not impugning anyone here), and business letters, and speak better. IMHO it all comes down to effort, standards and consideration for your audience.

Thoughout B-school, we had a number (majority, actually) of twits who had no idea how to put together a presentation or a report or even a one-page memo. Worse, they didn't care, and since there was no grading for quality or style, no one bothered to get any better. Hello, future business leaders...
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by designprofessor
Is it effective? Yes and no. I lecture through power point presentations - a decade ago it would have been through 35mm slides.

I'm now looking into downloaded text books and audio textbooks via ipod. the technology does not guarantee that the student will absorb the information, they may never crack the textbook either. when the technology works seamlessly its pretty cool! when there is a glitch, i'm back to the chalkboard -not bad either.

I had a few classes recently in college that would use downloaded textbook articles and such. I could only read so much text on a screen at a time before my eyes would get sore and I would get tired of sitting at a computer desk. I inevetably would print the article out and just read it from there. This would also allow me to underline or highlight passages, and I could take it with me anywhere to read, study and review from.

Power point presentations in lecture were nice, especially for those classes where there would have been a ton of information typically written on a blackboard. However, some professors would just put up power point slides and read through them, not doing any further explanation. They would often post the slideshow on the class's FTP site before or after lecture. After a few weeks the attendance to lecture shot down, as people figured they could just skip class and download the powerpoint.

The best way I saw professors use power point were to make slides with basic points and information, then lecture on the finer points. The computer stuff was used in conjuntion with traditional lecture and book work. I personally got more out of lectures like that.

One of the best ways of integrating the technology was to be able to submit assignments on-line, either through e-mail or posting to FTP. It saved time in class, as there wasn't a made rush of people turning in essays and assignments, and you could turn in your work whenever, 3 am if you wished. Being able to just type answers into an on-line worksheet also helped people like me with questionable handwriting.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
Do schools still make students memorize the times table?
None of my four kids were required to memorize the "tables". I disagree with the decision, but I also recall quite distinctly (and not favorably) standing up in front of my fourth-grade class and reciting, "four times one is four; four times two is eight; four times..." It was excruciating.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube
None of my four kids were required to memorize the "tables". I disagree with the decision, but I also recall quite distinctly (and not favorably) standing up in front of my fourth-grade class and reciting, "four times one is four; four times two is eight; four times..." It was excruciating.

We used to have speed tests. What's the rational for not teaching them? Some things you just have to know... My math teachers never let us use calculators. Hell, my biochem prof wouldn't either, but to compensate she gave us numbers that were easy to work with otherwise logarithms would have been a bit difficult to do in our heads ;p

For what it's worth, I think PowerPoint is great for lectures, especially when the notes or slides are made available online. I suck at taking notes and I always have, even when I was in hs and forced to copy stuff off the blackboard all the time. I write too slowly and if I try to speed-up, my writing becomes illegible, making the notes completely useless. It also meant i spent the class trying to keep up with the notes instead of listening to the teacher's explanations. With downloadable PP presentations i can get a good recap of lectures, know what to focus on for exams, and maintain proper focus during lectures.
post #39 of 45
I wish I could remember where I found the article, but it was a great explanation of why it's important to memorize some things, like your multiplication tables.

The gist of the argument was that the typical argument that things could "just be looked up" was a fallacy because even if you can look something up, you have to know what it means. He cited as an example looking up a word in the dictionary to find it's spelling (or something like that). There are basics things that must be known in order to even do that. You have to know how the dictionary is organized, for example, you have to know that H comes after C, etc. That is all rote. And you have to know what the words in the definition mean in order to understand the definition, etc. This was all backed up with fascinating research testing people's ability to look-up and comprehend things.

The same is true for math in my opinion. Why memorize your multiplication talbes? I give two reasons. The first and most basic is that if you don't, you have to use your calculator. That takes too much time and it makes you look like a moron. The second is more profound; if you use your calculator, how do you know you have the correct answer? I see on a regular occassion students relying on their calculators to provide an answer, but then not knowing if the number makes any sense. And I teach economics where it oftentimes can be obvious if the number makes sense. Yet students will report to me a negative price.

bob
post #40 of 45
in some lines of work - maybe many lines of work - it's incredibly useful to have things memorized like the multiplication/factor tables and basic sine numbers. in the building trades, adding and converting units of length is constantly done - if you don't know fractions inside and out, you're stuck. the people who use those foot-inch calculators are wankers.
post #41 of 45
Its good tips I'm hearing from you guys. I make the Powerpoint from scratch rather than those templates they offer, so its not the expected format. Mine are 99% images
with major points bulleted. I read only from these to start off the lecture or discussion or emphasize major points to remember. To skip class and just retrieve the power point only gets you the picture -the rest is a combination of books /notes from lectures.

Occaisionally I set myself on fire, just to keep it interesting
post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by designprofessor
I read only from these to start off the lecture or discussion or emphasize major points to remember. (...)

Occaisionally I set myself on fire, just to keep it interesting

I wish that my fellow students had heard your comments and taken them to heart - the former or the latter.

Actually, the only areas that bothered me were: The Opening, the intros, body, conclusion, and closing. I hated people who read from the slides and turned their back to the audiences.

I'm having a hard time getting off the soapbox on this one. Honestly, just a little bit of effort in this one area puts you at the top 10% of anyone who has ever used Power Point.
post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdawson808
And I teach economics where it oftentimes can be obvious if the number makes sense. Yet students will report to me a negative price.

bob

And you teach at a university? How did they pass high-school?
post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by designprofessor
Its good tips I'm hearing from you guys. I make the Powerpoint from scratch rather than those templates they offer, so its not the expected format. Mine are 99% images
with major points bulleted. I read only from these to start off the lecture or discussion or emphasize major points to remember. To skip class and just retrieve the power point only gets you the picture -the rest is a combination of books /notes from lectures.

Occaisionally I set myself on fire, just to keep it interesting

I can understand where you're coming from about not wanting to make it easy for people to skip class, but wouldn't you prefer that they be listening intently instead of furiously trying to scribble down notes? For me there's always a huge difference in enjoyment between classes that have half-decent PP slides available and those that don't. With the slides I can focus on listening and add in the missing detail instead of having to write everything out. People that skip all the time will likely do poorly for other reasons so that shouldn't be the rationale for not providing moderately thorough slides.
post #45 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
I can understand where you're coming from about not wanting to make it easy for people to skip class, but wouldn't you prefer that they be listening intently instead of furiously trying to scribble down notes? For me there's always a huge difference in enjoyment between classes that have half-decent PP slides available and those that don't. With the slides I can focus on listening and add in the missing detail instead of having to write everything out. People that skip all the time will likely do poorly for other reasons so that shouldn't be the rationale for not providing moderately thorough slides.

Excellent point. One of my best students sat on the front row and just watched and listened. I asked him about it one day, he said he did better that way. He aced all my courses. I actually don't mind if students draw either. I drew and it helped me pay attention. In the end, if I can get the conversation with the students going, that seems to be best. the technology then only serves as a backdrop for some shared experience.
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