Lectures. Wow.

“A lecture is an event where the notes of the professor pass to the notebooks of the students
without going through the brains of either.”

The NYT published an article describing the insufficiencies of using a laptop to take notes during lectures.  Just not enough ‘learning’ oomph.

And lots of people jumped in….entirely missing a key point.

Lectures and learning. Especially if learning means ‘a permanent change in thinking or behavior.’

Recently wrote an entire blogpost about this.  And I completely agree that sitting and typing during a lecture is a very poor way to receive the distribution of information.  If the point is to distribute information.  

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 9.27.44 AM

The problem is NOT the laptop.  It’s the teaching strategy.  Of course direct instruction absolutely has a place as a tool in education. According to Hattie, direct instruction has an impact size of .6.  That’s substantial.  Scaffolding and classroom discussion have impact sizes of .82.  Don’t see those in too many lectures.  Lectures are a pure example of distribution of information.  Professor solely has the information.  Distributes it to the students, laptops or not.  Students have the information until it’s time to give it back via a test.  End of story.  Learning? 

A more robust use of laptops is to create better learning experiences other than typing during lectures.  A youtube video could replace the lecture.  Flipped learning could handle the lecture.  How about about using the tools to create?  Critically think?  Communicate?  And most importantly, collaborate?

It’s not about the tool.  It’s about what one does with it.  And to use it to simply take notes during a lecture is a waste of time.  Glad a study confirmed it.


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