with Meredith Broussard, a data journalism professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. Get this: she bans the use of e-books in her classes although she teaches courses in digital journalism (h/t to commenter Susan.) As Broussard explains on her syllabus:
You must bring a print copy of the texts to class. While I understand that e-books are convenient, and I enjoy reading them myself, our class depends on face-to-face interaction. Print is the absolute best interface for what we do in this class. The myriad interruptions and malfunctions of electronic readers tend to interfere with class conversation and distract you from being able to refer quickly to a passage in the text. So: read on whatever you like at home, but bring a book or a printout to class.
Why? It turns out that in her experience, our so-called “digital native” students don’t always plan ahead. (Surprise! Or not, for anyone accustomed to working with late adolescents and young adults.) Also, as I have argued here in the past, she notes that codex technology is unsurpassed for her teaching style and goals:
I really do believe that print is the ideal interface for a classroom. I used to allow e-readers in class. For a couple of semesters, I patiently endured students announcing their technical difficulties to the entire class: “Wait, I’m out of juice, I have to find a plug.” “What page is that on? My Kindle has different pages, so I can’t find the passage we’re talking about.” “Professor, do you have an iPad charging cord I could use?” After a while, I realized that I was spending an awful lot of class time doing tech support. The 2-minute interruptions were starting to add up. E-readers were a disruptive technology in the classroom—and not in a good way. Continue Reading »