Monday, August 07, 2006

Teaching and technology

One of my things the last couple of years have been the search for a way to make the computer a better instrument for presentations, because it annoys me that the blackboard still has such a much larger potential for communication in a classroom than the wonder-machine, the computer.

Today I realised why this annoys me. The problem is that the technology itself is too noisy. When the solutions for presentations, note-taking and preservation of notes are as clumsy as they are today, the attention is drawn away from the message, and towards the process of presentation. That process is supposed to be invisible and seamless, not visible and fragmented. Because what suffers when the presentation process is noisy, is the content, and the content has to be simplified to the level of - OK, I won't say it, but you know, in our line of work simplification is not always desired. We are supposed to be able to present, discuss and understand very complex questions. If we have to cut it down to 6 little bullet points, we have lost before we started.

No comments: