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Do you surf while in class?  RSS feed

 
Scott Selikoff
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As a teacher/student, I don't like it when my students type while I'm lecturing but as a student today with 5 hours of not-that-excitihng classes, I've spent most of the time surfing the web and writing e-mails.

Maybe its not so bad, as in, its a sign the lecturer should be more entertaining if everyone is using the computer while in class.... oh and yes I am typing this message while in class.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Harumppph. Call me an old fart, but the era when I was teaching was before the proliferation of electronic gadgets. But if I were still teaching today, there would be no using of devices in my class and cell phones would be turned off at the door.

But then again, no one ever accused me of being boring.
 
Jeroen T Wenting
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well said Bear. When I was a student there was no internet access at any school/university computer, it was just too expensive.
Teachers maybe had access to some BBSs from a single computer in their lounge using a 14K4 modem or slower, students certainly didn't.
In fact there were computers only in those classrooms reserved for programming lessons and the physics lab, none of them connected to anything, printing going through an old switchbox.
 
Jim Yingst
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[Bear]: Harumppph. Call me an old fart

You old fart!

[Bear]: But then again, no one ever accused me of being boring.

Excuse me, I meant to say, boring old fart. Better?

As for portable computers in the classroom... hm. I've lectured with a portable computer and overhead projector, works pretty well. But back then, the students weren't using them at the same time. I can imagine some genuine benefits (e.g. notetaking), but many more problems (distracted students). I guess I'd be OK with students typing on computers, but not with them browsing the net. Though there could be some genuine benefits there too, I suppose, but I think in many classes they'd be outweighed by distractions.

Those of you who are students (or teachers) now: what's the norm in your classrooms? Do any instructors forbid computers? Does your campus have a pervasive wireless network? I suspect that internet access in class either is the norm now, or will be soon, and educators will have to adjust their styles accordingly. But maybe not.
 
Rambo Prasad
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Those of you who are students (or teachers) now: what's the norm in your classrooms? Do any instructors forbid computers? Does your campus have a pervasive wireless network? I suspect that internet access in class either is the norm now, or will be soon, and educators will have to adjust their styles accordingly. But maybe not.

Professors generally dont object nor they become too suspicious...Any way on the safer side it is always better to sit at a distance when you want to indulge in browsing and gaming...

My campus was fully wi-fi enabled and we had our own laptops..There used to be some boring classes by some boring professors..Attendence was mandatory so there was no way I could skip those classes...So we used to play network gaming....My favourite then was half-life and NFS....

It really helps in preventing you from falling asleep and earning the Professors wrath and stare


[ October 13, 2006: Message edited by: Rambo Prasad ]
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I guess it's the next generation of things to do in class. Throughout school, people passed notes. In high school, some people played calculator games during math. In college, some people do other work while the professor is lecturing.

I graduated a bit before wi-fi was offered at my college. And I went to grad school online. So by definition we were on the Internet while in class

During work training classes, the Internet is available. Some people surf the net, others don't. It also depends on the instructor. Sometimes there are more boring lulls than others.
 
Jeroen T Wenting
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note taking? We'd pen and paper for that, worked quite well.
And if kids were to learn writing still it would still work, but I just heard yesterday that schools in the US are considering stopping writing lessons because people never write anymore anyway.
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Jeroen T Wenting:
I just heard yesterday that schools in the US are considering stopping writing lessons because people never write anymore anyway.
That would be a shame. Writing is quite an important skill, but there is now an increasing number of people who can't write something which is both legible and well spelt without the aid of a computer... and I include myself in that group. My spelling is awful and my handwriting is even worse - sometimes I finish a meeting and can't read my own notes.

I suspect that this is due to a lack of writing at school. I used word processors as soon as I could, and didn't get as much practice of writing as I could have. Since starting work I hardly write at all- just the occasional cheque or meeting note.

When I look at things my grandparents write/wrote the difference is huge. Their handwriting is so much better then mine, almost artistic. Its a shame to think that skill is becoming less common.
 
Jeroen T Wenting
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I learned to write well in primary school, but taking speed notes in university destroyed my handwriting (as it does for many university students).
But at least I know how to form letters, and can write (even if it doesn't look too nice and many people have difficulty deciphering my hieroglyphics).
 
Bear Bibeault
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:

Excuse me, I meant to say, boring old fart. Better?


Much!

Although I do have a soft spot for "opinionated walrus" as I was called by someone in another forum when I dared to express an opinion that differed from his. I think it was meant as a slur, but I rather like it.
 
Jesus Angeles
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You 'have to' surf, if it is a beach surfing class.
 
Tim LeMaster
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
That would be a shame. Writing is quite an important skill,


Why? If its so important then how do so many people go through their daily lives without ever doing it. My handwriting and spelling is autrocious (had to look that one up), but my vocabulary (hey got that one right) is fine. I'm curious how rote learning of spelling words or muscle memory to form perfect letters fall under important?
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Tim LeMaster:
I'm curious how rote learning of spelling words or muscle memory to form perfect letters fall under important?
Its useful as a back up skill. While most of the time people don't need to use a pen, as there usually is a handy electronic tool available, its good to be able to write without one just in case.

Its not hard to imagine a future when most people would be unable to write something legible and correctly spelled without a computer - that places a large reliance on technology and they could be stuffed if they ever had to write something with just a pen and paper.

Learning spelling and grammar is also pretty important as it will help a person learn their own language better (and therefore help them become better at expressing themselves) and perhaps help them learn other languages as well. Similarly (but less so), learning to write your own alphabet in a clear way may help when learning to write in another alphabet.

I've been learning Greek and it is hard. Part of the problem is that I have very little knowledge of grammar in my own language (being reliant on spelling/grammar checking software) so I have struggled to learn another language's grammar. My handwriting in English is awful, and my writing in Greek is more so. Its taken a lot of effort to make myself slow down and form letters correctly instead of in a fast scrawl!
 
Jeroen T Wenting
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most kids right now seem unable to write without spelling or grammatical errors if they don't have a word processor with a spell checker and grammar checker.
That will only get worse if the current generation of kids become the next generation of teachers, think about that for a change...

What's next? Stop teaching people how to read because there's text-to-speech software available?
 
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