(I have updated this post from last week and added a link at the end of the post; enjoy!)
At the beginning of this post, let me know that there have been times where I have used my laptop in the pulpit.
I am one of those who prefers to have his thoughts and words down on paper but when my printer isn’t working, I will carefully put my laptop on the pulpit, see the document for full screen and go with the flow.
In all the churches that I have been, only once I have I seen a Power Point presentation or something similar used. I have never used a Power Point presentation as part of my sermon and I have no intention of doing so. There may be times when I want to show some pictures but for the most part technology helps me prepare the message but not deliver it.
Now, having said that, I do and will use technological applications in my chemistry classroom as part of the instructional process. There are some things that technology helps facilitate.
There is a trend it seems for students to bring laptops into the classroom. This is, a good thing, because of what you can then do. But very few of my students in the recent past have brought their own laptops into the classroom. This is a reflection of economics more than anything else.
But some students at other schools do so on a regular basis. For the most part and if you can do it, it is an easier way to take notes. And considering the handwriting of some of my students, I wouldn’t mind giving them an electronic form of a test and have them type in their answers.
There are problems with using laptops, of course. If you let students put their answers down in an electronic form, then you have to find some way to prevent them from getting the answers off the Internet or through some form of wireless communication.
Now we read that some schools have taken to banning the use of laptops in the classroom. Apparently students are not taking notes but rather engaging in other activities, such as updating their personal pages, chatting with others (hopefully not in the same classroom), or just playing games.
Businesses are now finding it necessary to do the same thing. There is an interesting article on the InsideHigherEd.com website describe this new trend (link).
As is noted in the article, there is a possible link between an obsessive reliance on technology and a moral failing in society. If nothing else, the reliance on technology reduces the need for the human mind to think and, in turn, reduces the need for face-to-face interaction with other human beings.
A number of people are discussing the utility and usage of powerpoint presentations in the chemistry classroom. As part of that discussion (the archives are located here), someone pointed out that there was powerpoint presentation of the Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. It is here.
What does this tell us or say to us about the use of technology in our worship services today and tomorrow?