Which is the problem. Take away the "bright and shiny" and what's left?
It's like the old tactic of trying to "connect" with kids by incorporating concepts into a rap. Having to call on pop culture to get kids' attention because they couldn't be bothered to be interested otherwise. ----------> Self-starters who are eager because they recognize the benefits and later rewards vs. shiny inducements.
That being said, I AM in support of technology such as iPads in class. Wholeheartedly, at that. Whatever helps, helps. Though reliance on technology to make a subject more interesting or palatable is a bad habit, but one that begins with students, not teachers.
This problem goes even further up the ladder to college education.
The late Professor T.G. Elliott of the Classics Department of the University of Toronto at Mississauga (formerly Erindale College), under whom I had the pleasure of studying for a number of years, had already addressed this issue and others like it years ago in his course syllabi, and he probably wasn't the first one:
"Since most members of the class are first-year students, some remarks to them may not be amiss. The university is sometimes referred to as an institution of higher education, a term which is meant to exclude the education which we inflict upon children, or even upon adolescents. It is the education we offer to young (and other) adults in the hope that they will use our assistance in teaching them to think for themselves. There is no expectation that such education can simply be delivered to the student. If the student does not take an active part in his own higher education, he will not obtain it, and will find any degree conferred upon him quite useless. If you find yourself moping through one of the textbooks and sitting sullenly through the lectures, daring the instructor to interest you in the subject, I invite you to reread this paragraph."
"The university differs from other institutions of higher learning in offering courses in what used to be called the liberal (as distinct from the servile) arts. These are courses for people who want to learn to think for themselves, rather than direct their efforts immediately towards the earning of a salary, and CLA 160 is one of these courses. Those who are frightened by the thought of taking courses that are not immediately connected with a job, should understand that the facility with the written word, which is taught in liberal arts courses, is what communications depend on."
Are students not able to relate to the material without all these technological "learning aids"? Are we asking too much of them if these new aids are taken away or not implemented? No doubt they *can* improve attention and increase interest, but this may be indicative of a deeper problem: why are schools feeling pressure to do this? Do these aids enhance an already comprehensive experience, or are they being used as a band-aid to cover up a fundamental lack of eagerness to learn?
Edited by Quadra 610 - 6/26/12 at 8:36am