Distract Me!!

An unsurprising number of my colleagues are relative Luddites who–among other complaints–spend no shortage of time spewing the evils of those durned computers and how they take so much away from the classroom environment.* To save myself from their preaching and provide a nice little counterpoint, I keep handy an American literature text from 1913. Right smack on page 16 of the text (right before the first chapter on Colonials, Quakers, and Puritans) is the following drawing:

While there’s no way to really know when this drawing was done, it’s certainly reasonable to assume that such distracted behavior occurred well before the advent of the laptop, the iPhone, etc. Of course, the Luddite, when presented with the text, will usually scoff and then huff about how it’s not really the same thing–and I might agree–but it’s a bit hasty to blame the easily-distracted young mind on the evil boxes that surround us…

Personally, I kind of like the picture. Nice fangs.

*Side Note: As our uni. has had a lovely spate of network and server problems this first week of school, many of these folks have been wandering around with heads held high, laughing at the wailing and teeth-gnashing of many of their paperless colleagues. It’s been an ugly sight.


2 thoughts on “Distract Me!!

  1. Such complaints just seem to be pissing in the wind, imo. Technology is like a fast moving train, either get on board or get mowed over. Besides, why would we want to go back to the way things were? Do people actually miss their hot, loud overhead projectors?I say that having taken all of my classes completely paperless in the past. All handouts, materials, discussions were online and all material was due online. (I liked the electronic time stamp that saved me several times from students bitching, “But I turned it in.”)I’m not so paperless at NCTC (just because I’m not as familiar with the ANGEL system as I am with Blackboard).

  2. Sadly enough, they do claim to miss them. I never liked the old projectors mostly because the wet erase markers were such a mess. Hated cleaning that stuff (I have a colleague who still uses hers, by the way. She had to basically steal one and hide it in her office before they were all carted off for disposal.) I’d say I’m about 80/20 paperless this semester. I just switched back to hard copies of major writing assignments (for assorted reasons), but everything else is online, and they still have to submit them electronically as well–mostly so we can have an archive for the semester. I’m not interested in turnitin or crap like that.

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