Re: Shlocking but True

Wed, 18 Jan 1995 23:33:19 +0000

>The annual University of Southern California National Survey of Desktop
>Computing in Higher Education is out, and results show that only a small
>percentage of college courses use technology to enhance or supplement
>instruction. Similarly an Association of American Publishers survey shows
>only 2% of college professors reporting that their assignments require the
>use of software, and only 9% of courses use e-mail for instructor-student
>communications. (The Heller Report Jan. '95 p.1)

I don't doubt it for a moment. Very few instructors are willing to make
assignments that REQUIRE use of the computer, for the simple reason that
they know that not all students a) can afford one or b) know how to use
one. Of course, there are campus computing facilities and usually free
campus courses on using the computer to solve said problems, but they do
not go completely away. Certainly, if one is just writing papers, one can
get by with ye old manual typewriter or Brother word processor stand-alone
(and I know many who do) or go and use a local Kinko's...

The fact is, after all the cyberhype, the PC's penetration of society and
the urge to Infobahn have been vastly overrated. I have seen figures that
suggest that while many people use computers in their office for specific
work-related tasks, PCs are only used in one-quarter of homes...

As for not using technology in enhancing instruction - the desire to use
all kinds of AV enhancements may be there but I suspect the MONEY is not...
and for many depts. won't be in the near future.

And of course there's the simple matter of the fact that the instructors
themselves may not know how to use the computer or receive email. Many of
them are in the uncomfortable position of knowing less than their students
of the Digital Generation, who grew up with video games and CDs... I
suspect this situation will change when that generation matures and
replaces them ;-).


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