Presence, Structured Exposure and Desire

Keith Lyons, Clyde Street, Aug 31, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I can understand the desire on the part of some (many, even) to put down the screens and engage face-to-face, uninterrupted. My sympathy with this view ends when professors - even Clay Shirky - are "moving from recommending students set aside laptops and phones to requiring it." At the point something is required the arguments in its favour become irrelevant, and it is simply the exertion of power that makes it so. And if power is what defines the dynamic in a classroom, then any effort to support the empowerment and the enfranchisement of the student is undermined. I realize a lot of people don't see the classroom dynamic as a question of power. But they are, after all, the ones with the power.

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