Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Classroom Technology

In the mornings I teach in the only one of two classrooms in my building that isn’t a smart classroom. That’s A.O.K with me since I can bring our department’s projector to class the two or three times in a semester that I need it. I’m rather old fashioned I prefer not to fill my students’ brains with somewhat useless images that they have no way of recording. I’ve also found that they only write down what I put up on the board (how you English people can get your students to learn is beyond me). So the media is reserved for very special days.

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the traditional. The person who teaches in the classroom after me is in constant need of a bloody projector. Three days a week this “dumb” room is smartened up for an hour. When there are only two “dumb” rooms in the building why on earth would this professor not request a room change? There are other rooms available at this hour.

I suspect the reason this faculty member has not changed rooms is that he has to do none of the work to set up the portable media. You seen Annoying McAnnoyer has some poor schmuck from IT wheel a HUGE cart from across campus. This Land Rover size cart has not just a little projector on it but a complete surround sound system with bluray and DVD players. Put some neon lights on the underside and it would figure the hoopdies the gangstas are driving these days.

At the start of the semester Cart Man would be waiting outside the classroom 10 minutes before my class was over. He’d wait patiently and respectfully until my time was up and once my students were gone he set up the behemoth. But this apparently took too much time for Annoying McAnnoyer because now Cart Man sets up the leviathan before my class even starts. So now when I arrive I have to retract the screen, which is pulled down so far the spring is nearly sprung, and move the darned yacht from the center front row of desks where it blocks 50% of my class from seeing the lower two-thirds of the chalkboard.

Given that the cart easily blocks the view of the screen for 50% of Annoying McAnnoyer’s full classroom, how does this added technology actually benefit the students? This must be what lousy, rotten karmic retribution is like.


  1. Ah you youngsters and your chalkboard's, I only need a toga to teach my class. And who needs this internet thing, when smoke signals are just as adequate.

    I remember a Prof from my undergrad days who was confused by overhead projectors. Would spent all the class time drawing a single graph on the board.

  2. Guess what: OUR English students are also YOUR students. :o) They don't learn from us in much the same way...

    And why haven't the poor IT guys told this schmuck that he can come get the cart himself or move his classroom for him? They don't seem too bright, either.

  3. I'm willing to bet he has repeatedly requested a room change, and Room Bookings are precisely as responsive to him as they are to anyone, anywhere.

  4. I find that people stop setting up shit that makes it impossible for me to conduct class when I "accidentally" damage it while moving it out of the way.

  5. The appropriate word here is "No". "No, you may not set up the media box before my class." "No, it is not conducive to my students classroom experience, as I do not use the media box." "No, I don't give a flying rat fuck what Annoying McAnnoyer says, it's not his room until I'm done."

    If that doesn't work, disconnect and hide some important cables.

  6. Move the box-cart out to the hallway. It's your classroom until your class is over.

  7. If your department chair is awake, it really ought to be her or his responsibility to take care of things like this. If someone else's cart is interfering with your class, it has no business being there, particularly if it is of no benefit to your students: tell them you'll need for them to go back to the way they demonstrated they could operate, by having the cart waiting outside until you are done.

  8. Start with Pat's suggestion: No. It is inconvenient for me. If it shows up again, I'm sure you need a cable for tying back the curtains. Or you have to take the cable out because you almost tripped and didn't what to put the school in danger of a personal injury suit. And use the chair, they should know which mole to whack to get IT guy to behave.


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