Re: computer syllabus and lectures

Subject: Re: computer syllabus and lectures
From: Stuart Selber <sselber -at- MTU -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1993 09:11:30 -0400

>Brenda Gordon writes:

I think the computer-based classroom is working when students would
>rather be writing a document than listening to a lecture on
>how to write a document. One of the greatest benefits of
>teaching in a computer-based classroom is that students do
>not have to be subjected to long, and often boring,
>lectures. Instead the teacher can use the networked system to
>provide an environment that allows the students to learn how
>to write technical documents by reading, evaluating, and
>writing technical documents.

I agree with Brenda that teachers *can* use networked classrooms to
de-center themselves, but that's not solely a function of the technology
(many teachers teaching in traditional classrooms do a fine job of handing
the class over to their students). Certain computer applications and their
functions can encourage student-centered work, but those *same* functions
can also be used to track, monitor, and control student writing (and
professional writing too). Computer-based classrooms can be just as
oppressive as traditonal ones, perhaps more so. We do have to talk about
technologies of writing because they're *not* neutral, but we also have to
talk a lot about how we take these technologies up in writing contexts.


Stuart A. Selber
Department of Humanities email: sselber -at- mtu -dot- edu
Michigan Technological University phone: 906-487-3252
Houghton, MI 49931 fax: 906-487-3347

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