Banning the Future

“We are fortunate to be living through the greatest change in human communication in human history.” – Miller (2010).

This is a strong proposition, the kind of which that inspires hope for the future of our world and of particular concern to Miller the education of its people.

The rapid advances in communication brought to us courtesy of the World Wide Web have seemingly presented our educational institutions with the opportunity to progress to a new and enormously accessible level of knowledge previously restricted. Creativity is our oyster.

But are the institutions listening? Miller (2010) argues they are not. “Our expectations of education remain frozen in time.”

This is in no way an outlandish statement. Let’s look at a simple example of teachers not embracing the benefits of technology. Here we have the not so uncommon opinion of a university professor and his imposed banning of laptops in the classroom.

Sure, he makes the obvious points regarding distraction and… well distraction, but his students are the ones that are paying for their education. If they choose to use a technology that can assist in their learning without affecting the learning of other students, then is it fair to impose such a blanket ban?

Perhaps professor Thagard has not been made aware of the advantages offered by such a device to the classroom as demonstrated by the following video.

Or perhaps he just hates technology. Like this guy

Another argument that arises is whether the universities are more concerned with their own “business” than the benefits to their students

I mention this on the basis of further restrictions to learning despite successful enrolment in a course. A student can access e-books and academic writings through their university, however these academic sources are restricted to their course and chosen by the teacher. Further reading will require additional fees and it is therefore left for only the keenest of students to find alternate ways to access their desired information.

Rather than granting full access to the world of knowledge that awaits their students, it seems that universities have locked the gates and forced the students to climb the walls.

References

Miller, R (2010) ‘The Coming Apocalypse’, Pedagogy Winter 2010 10 (1): 143-151

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About mitchellsmore

I live next to a dairy farm. There are cows everywhere.
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