Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Laptops in the Class room

Over at the Faculty Lounge, there is a conversation about whether to ban laptops in class.  It seems the professors have two issues; students are surfing the Internet during class, or using them to take notes.  It seems both activities disrupt and annoy some students.

The proposed answer, probably as a 'fun intellectual exercise,' is to auction off the rights to bring a laptop.  Haha.  Funny and clever, right?

Here's my response in the comments:
So this is the state of higher education.  Good lord.

I have an idea.  E-mail your lecture notes so people don't have to take notes.  If you're afraid people will not come to class, and you don't know how to manage it, you don't belong in front of a class room.

As for distraction, tell the complaining students to fix it, or speak up and you will help them fix it.  They are adults after all.  And if someone is distracted by typing, they will never last in the real world.

This post is disgraceful.  I have another idea.  Why don't we ban conceited fools and allow technology and mentors to replace them while students earn a wage?
I'm tired of the whole education mess.

I sat at the back of the room from grade 2-8 playing games and reading books because the education system decided to make a general policy that socializing with my age group was more important than skipping grades.

I remember debating a teacher on the impossibility of 'semi-variables.'  The only time I stopped reading was in high school, when the utter joy of books was nearly beaten out of me by the English department.  I will never forgive the primary and secondary school system for wasting my precious time.

My BA was a huge disappointment.  I could have learned that mess in half the time, mostly by avoiding some of it.  I don't need to be told that we raped the world.  Is is a superficial story that does not bear up to reality.  Only a fool would believe it.  But what a student must be encouraged to do is follow their interest and identify and nurture their talent.  And that is generally not allowed for 16 long years of a student's life.

My Masters degree was a sorry exercise in professor preening while they talked about subjects they had never attempted in real life.  Since I began working when I was 12, and reached management before 20, much of the fun I had was telling professors their course material was useless; I had been involved in experiments at work that demonstrated the ideas sounded attractive, but did not work.

I also fondly remember correcting a professor on his regressions, and demonstrating why his book conclusions were incorrect, footnoting my reply with multiple formal studies.  I left that class to a chorus of cheers, the professor tired of yelling at me in a failed attempt to defend his theories, and the TA's telling me I had won my argument hands down.  That professor gave me a 'C,'  the only blemish on my top 10 grades.

And yes, for the record, I went to the top schools in the country.  The whole education system is a masturbation of childishness, passive rote learning, and professor indulgence of the worst order, mired in a cesspool of irrelevancy, useless research and mind fuck experiments of tedious extraction.  That anyone survives it is a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit.  But it usually takes years of mentoring to repair the damage done and restore a sense of individuality, self-worth and the joys of curiosity, learning and discretion.

I have had great professors.  I cherished them, as though I found a diamond in the ocean sands.  That they would stay in such a bureaucracy is a testament to their love of teaching, for it was a terrible cross to bear for each and every one of them.

Posts like the one on the professor written Faculty Lounge tell me things are only getting worse.  More sadly, we are producing emotionally ill equipped children with a passive brain full of information short on knowledge.  It is long past time the government gets out of education.  It is the worst place to send an engaged mind, or inspire one.

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