[Air-l] Technology Transforming Education--EE-Learning

Mark D. Johns mjohns at luther.edu
Thu May 24 06:13:35 PDT 2007

Charles Ess wrote:
> ...
> While there are clear advantages to online learning environments - one of
> the best teaching moments in my life occurred during a brief stint with
> WebCT - because, like Mark Johns, I'm privileged to teach in a private,
> liberal arts place with classes ranging between 8 - 20 students each, I'm
> also profoundly convinced of the many sorts of teaching excellences that I
> can do only in f2f environments.

Thanks for the mention, Charles, and your willingness to be seen in the 
company of one who commits the abominable sin of (gasp!) taking 
attendance in his classes.

This, and Nancy's point a little further downstream about unmotivated 
students, are what I was attempting, less articulately perhaps, to state 
earlier. Some things work better online, some things don't work well 
that way at all. It depends on the situation, the subject matter, the 
temperament, motivation, and learning styles of the students, etc.

Yes, as Nancy points out, being able to use the technology and 
understand how these various technological and F2F environments affect 
communication are crucial for students (and professors) to learn in 
order to be successful in our technical world. But using technology for 
technology's sake is not always productive. And what we teach is often 
more than the subject at hand, but the "wisdom," as you say, to live 
life well.
Mark D. Johns, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Head of the
  Department of Communication Studies
Luther College, Decorah, Iowa USA
"Get the facts first. You can distort them later."
     ---Mark Twain

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