Welcome to the English 2283.X1 - Fall 2009 website

Professor: Dr. Richard Cunningham

Class meets in BAC 204, M & W, 2:30 — 4:00

Office: BAC 431
Office Hours: M, W 11:00 - 12:00 & by app't.
Office phone: 585-1345
Email: richard.cunningham[at]acadiau.ca


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If you are a student with a documented disability who anticipates needing accommodation in this class, please inform me after you meet with Jill Davies or Suzanne Robicheau in Disability/Access Services, in the Student Resource Centre, lower floor of the old SUB. jill.davies@acadiau.ca 585-1127 or suzanne.robicheau@acadiau.ca 585-1913.

Irresponsible Teaching

Teaching, communicating, learning are thoroughly technological affairs, there is no learning without technology. The issue is not technology but using the technology well to teach our students. PowerPoint, generally speaking = bad. Blackboard generally speaking = bad. Podcasting lectures, distributing content to students openly in ways they can easily access = good. But I’ll even make the stronger claim here: Teaching without digital technology is an irresponsible pedagogy. Why? The future is digital, love it or hate it. We can argue later about whether or not this is a good or a bad thing. (Hint: the answer is both.) But to educate students, or to attempt to educate students without developing their digital literacy is to leave them ill prepared for their futures. You wouldn’t think of educating a student and not teaching them how to read, digital literacy is this crucial. In the future if you don’t know how to use this technology you will be “illiterate.”

The problem with PowerPoint pedagogy is that it uncritically uses technology, doesn’t teach students to reflect on how technology shapes ways of knowing and learning. So, to simply eliminate PowerPoint and “go naked” is to not address the central issue. We can’t go back to “teaching the way it was,” because this will produce a generation of students who don’t know how to critically engage with, leverage, use, resist, these very technologies. Eliminating technology produces not the affect of a more engaged literate student populous, rather it produces the reverse, an ill informed, uncritical, unengaged student populous who will become at the very best passive consumers of the technology being resisted, and at the worst its willing victims.

-Dave Parry, from Academhack blog entry (July 24, 2009)