Saturday, April 27, 2013
Blog Post #14
Teacher Knows if You've Done the E-Reading
This is an article posted on The New York Times website dated April 8, 2013. The article is about professors at Texas A&M and eight other colleges who are testing technology from a company, CourseSmart, "that allows them to track their students' progress with digital textbooks." The article gives pros and cons to this as well as questions if this is beneficial in any way.
As a teacher, I would probably be very curious to see who read the assignments, how many pages were read, and how much time was spent reading. I would probably draw conclusions about students' scores and time spent reading. I might become partial to students who do the reading versus the student who don't. After some time, I would get back to the main thing, which is teaching my class. Being voyeuristic does not replace good teaching. Snooping on students does not change whether or not they did the reading. Inspiring them to want to do the reading is my job.
As a student, I would probably be pretty irritated. If this is going on now, it would not matter because I do my readings and work. If I do not, it will be reflected when I take a test. I may be tempted to fool my teacher into thinking I did the reading by leaving the textbook open like the article suggests. Also, some students claimed they took notes on paper instead of digitally, which does not accurately reflect students' engagement. The teacher's perception of the students' study habits may be influenced. As a student, I would feel micromanaged.
Questions for the teacher: How often do you check on your students' statistics? What do you hope to accomplish by doing this? How does this affect your perceptions of your students? How do you handle your disappointment after seeing the information? Do you reflect on your own teaching?
Questions for the student: How do you feel knowing your teacher has the ability to know if you have read the assignments? Does it change your study habits?
My comment I would add: After being in EDF 315, I have discovered what a big business the textbook industry is. My opinion is that this is just another strategy for the publishers to make money. The hook is to market to the colleges with the guise of helping teachers track their student's progress. The article says "eventually, the data will flow back to the publishers, to help prepare new editions." It's all about money. Period.