by Stephen Ruth // Vision
For centuries, educators have thought of students as vessels that should be filled with knowledge at regular intervals. Stephen Ruth argues that students should be co-discoverers of knowledge?and that professors should stimulate, rather than merely supply, intellectual discovery. In an undergraduate business course at George Mason University, Ruth recently energized enrollees by expanding his set of teaching tools to include "every possible new technology available." His supervisors approved; his students raved; and Ruth confirmed that, when they are applied intelligently, information technology tools can create rich, rewarding educational experiences.
by Peter Havholm // Commentary
Peter Havholm and James Ptaszynski trade opinions about the necessity and efficacy of technology in education. Havholm declares that the seminar table still serves students well when it comes to their learning how to read, write, and think critically. "Teaching [these skills] does not require the use of word-processing, email, or the Internet," he contends. "On the contrary, it is possible that all might be more quickly learned in the absence of technology of any kind." In response, Ptaszynksi argues that educators must be open to new instructional methods and pedagogies that utilize technology tools?tools that make educational opportunities universally available, more convenient, and less expensive. "I would feel better if academics were involved [in changing the paradigm of education] rather than sitting on the sidelines, trying to stonewall the process," Ptaszynksi writes. Read on and decide for yourself who makes the better case.
by James Garner Ptaszynski // Commentary
by Jack McKay // Case Studies
Jack McKay, Professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, describes how he utilized technology to enliven and improve a graduate seminar for educational administration students. McKay conducted six traditional class sessions; the other nine took place via email. He reports that student participation was, on the whole, more substantive and engaged in the electronic meetings than in the classroom. Find out exactly what McKay required of his students and how they responded in "Paradigms and Practices: Creating Different Strategies for Learning."
by Winifred Anderson and Barbara Sommer // Featured Products
Do you want to enliven your classroom lectures? Presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint can transform lectures into easy-to-use, computer-based presentations with colorful images, simple animations, and sound. Barbara Sommer and Winifred Anderson describe options for producing and finding visual images, alert readers to the payoffs and drawbacks of computer-based presentations, and offer a list of tips to help PowerPoint users avoid common design pitfalls.
CHORUS is a resource for educators interested in using new media in the arts and humanities. The site features reviews of software, original research, bibliographies, and annotated links related to the following categories: Bible Analysis, Composition, Electronic Research, and Language Learning. An additional category (Mixed Reviews) covers software and print publications that do not fit into one of the specialized sections. CHORUS is sponsored by the College Writing Programs at the University of California-Berkeley.