Adjust and Adapt

In her article, “It’s About Class: Interrogating the Digital Divide”, Lee Skallerup Bessette, Instructional Technology Specialist at the University of Mary Washington, attempts to explain the challenges that her area has to live with. Poor cell phone coverage, old white boards and the overall lack of access to technology that her students have to deal with are just some of the horrors her area faces. The main problem Bessette finds with the situation is that her students and the overall population in Eastern Kentucky, see technology as purely a tool and a luxury, because of their limited access and limited bank accounts. This attitude prevents play and exploration with technology, nothing short of a tragedy in the eyes of Bessette.

Why is playing and misusing technology so important? I don’t know. No one who read Bessette’s article would know. She spends the entirety of her article delving into how rough and poor the area is. Explaining how her English department has no computer labs and so on. Bessette at no point explains why she believes playing with technology is important. She gives no real reasons. She just explains the divide between the two worlds. She examines the contrast between her area, where computer science majors do not necessarily have computers and the upper echelon, the Harvey Mudds’ of the world, where technology is an available resource, where it is played with and explored. I understand there is poverty and classes in the United States. Before reading this article I knew that we live in a capitalist society, where there are areas and groups of people that have different levels in quantity and quality of resources. Bessette restates the known and leaves the unknown standing on nothing at all.

In Cathy Davidson we find the converse. “Why Start with Pedagogy? 4 Good Reasons 4 Good Solutions” does exactly what it says. She examines what goes into a good, efficient, new-age classroom. Davidson explains that Pedagogy is achievable with no extra resources at all. That through discussion and certain exercises such as an exit ticket, question stacking and other exercises, classrooms can be changed for the better by involving students in the class. This is coming from one of the leaders of the iPod experiment at Duke University. She shows that technology is not the only way to involve students in the classroom and to see them succeed and learn in a more successful manner.

Unlike Bessette, Davidson recognizes the difference between the mean and the goal. The goal is not integrating technology into the classroom; the goal is to create a more effective and more efficient learning environment. The mean could be technology, but it does not have to be. As Albert Einstein said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Davidson embraces change, Bessette whimpers and complains at the thought of it.

Questions

  1. What are your thoughts on the necessity of technology to fuel Pedagogy in the classroom?
  2. Do you think a classroom can be as effective without an abundance of technological resources?

Works Cited

Bessette, Lee S. “It’s About Class: Interrogating the Digital Divide.”

                Digitalpedagogylab.com. Digital Pedagogy Lab, n.d. Web. 2 July 2012.

 

Davidson, Cathy N. “Why Start With Pedagogy? 4 Good Reasons, 4 Good                   Solutions.” Digitalpedagogylab.com Digital Pedagogy Lab, n.d. Web.               8 July 2015

3 thoughts on “Adjust and Adapt”

  1. Well done, Gavriel! I also found it challenging to identify Bessette’s reasoning for the importance of misusing and playing with technology. I was particularly interested by your statement, “Unlike Bessette, Davidson recognizes the difference between the mean and the goal. The goal is not integrating technology into the classroom; the goal is to create a more effective and more efficient learning environment.” Education is evolving, so it is a time to find new and better learning methods that accommodate a different variety of students. To answer your first question, I don’t necessarily believe that technology is needed to be the base for Pedagogy in the classroom. Although it is a helpful way to get students engaged and involved, it is not the only method that can be effective for all students. As far as your second question, a classroom can surely be effective without a vast amount of technological use. It of course does not have to be lecturing, so something as simple as a warm-up or even an exit slip can go a long way.

  2. Great blog Gavriel. The way I interpreted Lee Skallerup Bessette’s article was just on the dot with the way you interpreted it. Bessette described all of the faults and disadvantages that the Kentucky area had but she didn’t describe a solution to fix it. But Davidson had four solutions that could of potentially helped the Kentucky area that Bessette either didn’t think or or try to share with the rest of us. If Bessette did have solutions in her article then maybe the article wouldn’t of felt like an emotional dump of her feelings to the unfortunate situation the Kentucky students had.

  3. The need of technology depends on the course we are taking. Some courses need technology, some don’t. For example, a natural science course developed on the living environment hardly needs the use of technology, however, the reality now is that technology is essential in our daily life.

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