Keep Computers Out of Class, Prof Argues

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2009 8:32 PM CDT
Too much technology in the classroom makes students tune out, says one school of thought.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – An SMU dean has a message for his fellow college professors: Ditch the PowerPoint. Jose A. Bowen isn't anti-technology, explains the Chronicle of Higher Education, he just thinks too many instructors rely on it as a crutch. He's challenging others to "teach naked," without computers in the classroom, that is. Instead, give students podcasts of lectures before class, then use class time to debate and think.

A growing body of evidence backs up the approach—and Bowen is far from the only advocate on the college scene—but one big hurdle remains: getting students to go along. They're used to sitting back passively during those 50-minute lectures, says another SMU prof who's trying Bowen's approach. "If you've spent years not speaking, you're going to be ticked off" when asked to participate. "We have to move past that resistance."