Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Friday, September 5, 2014

resistance is futile, part zillion

Alex Reid is very unhappy with teachers like me who ban laptops (and other internet-enabled devices) from class.

I’ve written about this a number of times before, so let me put it in a nutshell: My students are in class with me for two-and-a-half hours, 150 minutes, per week. During those 150 minutes I choose to focus on our using, together, the technology of the codex. They spend much of the rest of their waking time connected to the internet, and I do my best to teach them how to use it wisely and well for learning. (You can read through the archives of this blog to get a sense of some of the things I do and have done, or look at the syllabus for a course I’ve taught.)

And yet, for Reid, anyone who does not use the internet during class time is failing to confront the ways that “we think differently in the context of digital networks. That’s scary and difficult” and we just can’t handle it. People like me ”offer little or no opportunity for those laptops to be productive because our pedagogy is hinged on pretending they don’t exist.”

Get that? Use laptops all the time or you’re “pretending they don’t exist.”

That’s where we are now with the true-believing digerati: there is no time at which it is legitimate to unplug. There are no good pedagogical reasons for focusing, for less than three hours per week, on learning to use codexes better. Everyone must conform to the all-digital-all-the-time regime!


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