EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Minimum Technology

If I do not have a mediated classroom with at least a computer in it that is capable of projecting information and pictures on a screen my astronomy lectures are broken. I need the ability to show pictures. I have colleagues who still use slide projectors to show examples of celestial objects but they are generally showing the same stuff they projected for a class in the 90’s. The field of astronomy has blossomed a great deal (and still is) since those times so in my opinion the use of a computer is very much required.

Scarily, I took general astronomy during a time when most of the lecture was done at a chalkboard and very few pictures were shown.  The person I took my general astronomy class from still teaches and still just uses the same technique as when I took the class. I am not sure how he manages. I can manage with just a chalkboard and some demos when I teach physics but how many pictures do you need of spheres and Newton?

What is the minimum amount of technology you need in your classroom to have an effective lecture or an effective lesson? 

The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the afternoon (ET).

Featured image: Einstein Blackboard


Previous post

Can evolution and God coexist? Yes.

Next post

Pop Quiz: Student expectations



JoDee is an adjunct faculty instructor of astronomy and physics at various colleges around her hometown in the midwest. When she is not trying to get her cat, Pixel, off of her laptop she is observing variable stars and researching black holes.

1 Comment

  1. August 9, 2014 at 5:57 pm —

    I can usually get by with a white or black board, or better yet, a small whiteboard for each student group. So much of the value in my classroom is derived from what the students themselves bring to the classroom in discussion, that outside technology is often a distraction. Certainly in astronomy, technology is invaluable, as astronomy relies on models and pictures instead of direct, hands-on activities. But if I’m teaching about flowers, what better lesson than to bring in actual flowers? Still, if we’re talking minimum technology for a fruitful lesson, I would say all we really need is a teacher and fifteen (or so) growing little neural networks encased in flesh and bone.

Leave a reply