Old School

Tara Halbritter

Tara Halbritter

Today’s technology allows instructors to teach classes in a way far different than any other generation has experienced. But, is this technology right for all instructors or all classes?

Eve Fisher, a history professor, instructs both large and small classes. She prefers to use less technological methods of instruction, such as handouts, videos and lectures.

Fisher typically likes to write an outline of her lecture topics on the board at the beginning of class. She feels if she writes key points on the board, then students will write them down too.

“I don’t like to use Power- Point,” she said. “Students fall asleep.”

She has used power point for past projects, but wasn’t a fan of the increasingly popular instruction method, “I’d rather not – that’s not my style,” Fisher said. “I like to give a decent lecture. I also like to see the people I’m talking to.”

When asked if she feels effectiveness varies with or without the use of technology, Fisher said she doesn’t feel technology affects how students learn. She said that while such technology may be useful to many instructors, it is not necessary in her particular classroom setting.

Jack Getz, a mass communications professor, said he’s considered using more technology in his classes, but realizes he’s gotten his point across without it for 20 years.

In his classes, Getz generally uses a white board and a marker, but sometimes uses videos and the overhead projector. Time is a factor when it comes to learning how to use new classroom equipment, said Getz, whose schedule doesn’t always allow enough time for him to practice using equipment that’s not vital for his classes.

“It takes practice to become proficient,” he said.

With more “smart classrooms” popping up around campus, a growing number of instructors are finding themselves tangled up in all of the wires. A problem, Getz said, is that these smart classrooms are “smarter than I am,” which surely isn’t a problem only Getz faces.

He said most of the other professors in his department use technology to a greater extent than he does.

He recognizes that technology would be very useful in other classes, such as in advertising, but his classes usually consist of one-on-one communication between himself and each student.

Getz said faculty members are not pressured to use technology, but encouraged. He feels technology will be used more and more as younger faculty members come into the picture.

#1.885240:2984686871.jpg:oldschool.jpg:Although there is many high-tech equpiment, some instructors prefer to use traditional methods, such as the blackboard.: