Esta mañana he recomendado vía Twitter esta entrevista de Sherry Turkle. Copio aquí las reflexiones más interesantes:

Tecnología y Educación
In the area of education, it calms people to think that technology will be a salvation. It turns out that it’s not so simple. Technology can be applied in good ways and bad. It’s not the panacea. It depends how; it depends what.

It’s not to say that technology is bad — robots, cell phones, computers, the Web. The much harder work is figuring out what is their place. That turns out to be very complicated.

Many students were trained that a good presentation is a PowerPoint — bam-bam. It’s very hard for them to have a kind of quietness in their thinking where one thing can lead to another and build and build.

Technology makes certain things easy educationally in the classroom. That doesn’t necessarily mean that those things are the most educationally valuable.

When you have the ability to easily do showy, fabulous things, you want to believe they’re valuable because that would be great. I think that we always have to ask ourselves, when technology makes something easy, when its affordances allow us to do certain things, is this valuable? What are the human purposes being served?

PowerPoint
One of the things that has been most distressing to me in looking at K through 12 is the use of PowerPoint in the schools. It is statistically the most used piece of educational software. Students are taught that the way on how to make an argument — to make it in bullets, to add great photos, to draw from the popular culture and show snippets of movies and snippets of things that [he or she] can grab from the Web, and funny cartoons and to kind of make a mélange, a pastiche of cropped cultural images and animations and to make a beautiful PowerPoint. And that’s their presentation.

PowerPoint presentations are about simple, communicable ideas illustrated by powerful images, and there’s a place for that. But that isn’t the same as critical thinking. And PowerPoint is easy, and kids love to do it, and it feels good. And it simply isn’t everything. You know, great books are not fancied-up PowerPoint presentations. Great books take you through an argument, show how the argument is weak, meet objections, show you a different point of view. By the time you’re through with all that, you’re way beyond the simplicities of PowerPoint.

Multitasking
I think we’re getting ourselves out of the habit of just staying with something hard. Some intellectual problems are quite hard, and they need full attention. The new research is coming in that says when you multitask, everything gets done a little worse.

Look, there really are important things you cannot think about unless you’re only thinking about one thing at a time. There are just some things that are not amenable to being thought about in conjunction with 15 other things. And there’s some kind of arguments you cannot make unless you’re willing to take something from beginning to end.

El profesor en clase
Every professor who looks out onto a sea of students these days knows that there’s e-mail, Wikipedia, Facebook, Googling me, Googling them, Googling their next-door neighbor — that that’s happening in the classroom. And every professor makes a different call, and often we change our calls from one class to another and from one semester to another.

Very often now I will start my class and say: “You know, this really is not about more information. What we’re doing in class is learning how to think together, and I need your full attention, and I want you to be really thinking with me. I want you to be interrupting me; I want you to be having new ideas. But I don’t really want you to be having new ideas because there’s some new piece of information you found out on the Web. So no notebook laptops. If you have a note, you need to take a piece of paper.” And then I’ve had people say, “Oh, well;” then they’ll be doodling. And I think doodling is actually kind of interesting. I think doodling is a way in which people visually represent in some way something they’re hearing. I’m comfortable with doodling. I don’t get upset if people doodle.

It’s going to be because there’s something about my reasoning or something about your reading and experience that you’ve thought about before coming here that you want to contribute. And that’s pretty much how I’m handling it now.

Formas de dar clase
Well, I’ve changed my lecture style so that it is really more about showing them how to think. I say: “These lectures are not about the communication of content. I’m going to be thinking through complicated material. I’m going to be asking for input from you. I’m going to be showing you how to think through a problem. My lectures are designed to help you think through a problem, and there’s really no new information that’s required to both watch me do that and for you to participate in helping me do that, because if I’m thinking in a way you think is problematic, I will call on you, and we can take it back and think through a different way.”