Being a graduate student outside of work, teachers often pride themselves in using the “newest up to date” technology. This “new” technology is PowerPoint with more than one color on each slide or a graphic that actually appears on the slide rather than a box with an x mark in it. Most teachers are lucky if they can get the image of the computer to project on the screen (whiteboard) in front of the class. Then I come to work and see how the bare minimum of our work is twice as advanced as what I see in the classroom.
Teachers are fascinated that they can post assignment on Blackboard, a university based networking site which students can log onto and keep track of class assignment grades and chat with other classmates. They are amazed that we can talk to each other without seeing one another.
Now these teachers are the exception as most teachers stand in front of the class and talk, talk, and talk some more without using any visual aids. I believe that my generation is much more visual than past generations, because we have been exposed to so many different media outlets and technological advances. Teachers always say that they want to stay up to date with the times, however they give us articles from the 70s, show us videos from when bell bottom pants were in and insist that power point presentations are the latest thing. Most teachers lecture on how to give a good presentation and they themselves use bright colors, light text, and poor images to serve as teaching tools, and most of us in the room would create a better presentation just from what we know about power point such as movement of text, sounds, pictures, links, and movie players; just to name a few.
Is this a clash of generations, are teachers trying to make productive steps forward, are power points the first steps in trying to be “ in with the times?” Our classrooms seem to be the last places to experience the wave of technology and teachers are the ones struggle to keep their classes engage in their lectures.