Too much tech complicates classrooms

Illustration by Zachary Phillips
Illustration by Zachary Phillips

I tend to have a love-hate relationship with technology. 60-40 in favor of technology is the best I can do on any given day.

Don’t get me wrong, it has its upsides. “Clash of Clans,” for example, is making it very difficult for me to focus on writing at the moment.

I don’t appreciate technology being forced on me, though, and at times it seems the only real goal of today’s classroom is to see how many gadgets, doodads and applications can be crammed in.

So often I fail to see how it’s all enhancing my learning experience.

Yes, overhead projectors are fantastic and invaluable at this point. Far more valuable were the 10 minutes of class time that got wasted while the professor figured out how to turn it on and connect it to a computer.

This is the same professor who, later in the lesson, is going to preach the importance of maintaining an active Twitter account and blog.

I’m sorry, but it’s going to be very difficult for me to take such a lesson seriously after watching someone struggle with the most important piece of technology – the hardware – as opposed to the software.

Almost as infuriating is the lack of complete adoption across the faculty as a whole. If moving resources and teaching tools online is going to be the norm, perhaps it would be prudent to ensure that everyone is on board. I have a class this semester where I will never hand in a physical piece of paper and another where the Blackboard page might as well not exist.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. Perhaps at the ripe age of 21 the world is already beginning to pass me by because I still like to write on thin pieces of heavily processed tree. And honestly, I still haven’t really figured out how overhead projectors work.

I know I’ll have to adapt and accept all of this stuff eventually. All I’m asking is that the people teaching me about it make it a little more convincing that they know how to use it too.

Matt Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or @mattymurph93 on Twitter.