The questionable classroom

We’re all pretty taken with the new technology and the learning environments we’re able to construct, so it does us good to be pulled up every now and then and questioned about our blithe enthusiasm and at times unwarranted assumptions. So it is with an interview with Nicholas Carr in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Carr considers:


Online research—depthless!

Classroom screens—dubious!

… and sees a more appropriate tag being the ‘questionable classroom’ than the ‘smart classroom’.

The published interview, Linked In With: A Writer Who Questions the Wisdom of Teaching With Technology examines the main contentions of Carr’s new book, The Shallows. You may have heard of him from his earlier books, or even his articles, one of the most prominent and discussed being ‘Is Google making us stupid?’

In the article you’ll find brief exchanges on the role of neuroplasticity, research studies on the negative effects of technology, challenges to the assumption that ‘more is better’, the downsides of access to information, and the battles between the cognitive neuroscientists and the evolutionary psychologists (in particular Stephen Pinker). And don’t just stop with the article – keep scrolling and enjoy the comments. There’s some beauties from both sides of the argument (e.g. Bob Jensen).

Now, to be honest, I didn’t come across this article through a reading of the Chronicle. No, it was linked from what has recently become my favourite place for miscellaneous reading, Arts and Letters Daily.

arts & letters daily

OK, it’s a service of the Chronicle, but it’s much more eclectic, and simply fascinating! Through it’s enticing tidbits, it lures you into reading about a hugely diverse range of topics and issues from a wonderful array of sources.

I was going to start a list of all the enchanting and entrancing articles I’ve read from it, but hey, why should I detract from the serendipitous discoveries that you can make by perusing its gems? Go on, try it! If you’re interested in Carr’s ideas, then start with the link on ‘the art of slow reading‘.

One thought on “The questionable classroom

  1. The new technology and the learning environments is affecting the people very much and specially the students are becoming familiar with that,the main thing is the construction of knowledge and confidence of telling about the technology in the students,so about the interview you tell,the things in the interview are great and the things are good for the students to know some of the useful things.

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