Monday, November 15, 2010

Technology and teaching.

The Economist magazine argues that MBA programs should use more technology in their teaching.  As Professor who teaches in an MBA program, I hear this a lot.

I'm not at all averse to technology - I'm a bit of a geek really.  I run linux as my primary O/S and I think cloud storage (dropbox, evernote) is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  But I also think that you should use the simplest technology that gets the job done.  My primary teaching tool is a large white board and a lot of colored markers.  I'll use powerpoint to put up talking points, excel to show examples, and of course the web to grab data.  But beyond that, what is there?

The use of hardware technology seems very overplayed.  Do Ipads, kindles and Ipod touches really help?   Are smart boards, where you can manipulate the items on the screen really worthwhile?  For that matter, is excel 2007 so much better than excel XP?

I think that all these technologies are cute toys, but if I'm teaching target date immunization, they would just get in the way.  Of course I might just be a luddite.

I welcome comments on this topic.  But please, don't suggest that I use Second Life.