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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Curmudgeon v Curmudgeon II

Now Kevin Drum agrees students shouldn't be forced to have facebook accounts. Again I agree. But he doesn't seem to have attended a University in decades.

I am completely out of touch with both kids and universities, plus I'm an old fogey. And if you really want to know the truth, I'm not sure why university professors need to communicate with their students digitally at all. Don't they still meet a couple of times a week in meatspace, like we used to when I was a lad? Can't assignments and office hours and so forth be sufficiently communicated during class time?

But fine. I get it. We all communicate digitally these days, so university professors need to do it too. But you know what? University students actually do know how to use email. Sure, they might consider it something that's mainly used for sending messages to grandma and grandpa, but they all know how to use it. And it has the virtue of being universal, extremely flexible, and supporting embedded links to any old thing you want. Students who plan to find jobs after graduation should probably know how to use it.

Curmudgeon v curmudgeon round two. Wow this is great, something I know about. 1. No meatspace won't do. Students skip classes. Students who are at the lecture seem to manage to not hear simple announcements. Information on the web is so useful that it would be crazy not to use it.

2. e-mail ??? It's hard to e-mail people if you don't know their e-mail address. Did you e-mail this blog post to me ? Of course not. You put it on the web and I came to you.

3. After announcing a change in my office hours in two successive lectures I finally finally followed my own observation in point 1 and updated the web page. See not e-mail a web page for me, the prof, where students surf. You know like a blog but much more boring. My students may thank you for provoking me into putting in the 10 seconds of effort. That is those who come to my office hours. That is no one.

1 comment:

Hans Suter said...

"I am completely out of touch with both kids and universities, plus I'm an old fogey." He's right.