by Christie Rosenzweig
This article, We are Not Luddites, by, Brooks Kohler, was a reaction piece to an article recently released in the Economist that compared professors who refuse online classes, to the Luddites of the 19th century (factory workers who destroyed industrial machinery that they feared would take away their jobs). The author, a history professor thought the comparison was a gross and ridiculous exaggeration. He points out that as society evolves into becoming more and more technology based, some latent negative changes are occurring. Yes it is positive that more jobs require a college degree, however, the rise in college students is creating a less personal educational approach. Kohler believes this will have negative effects in the long term.
I agree that not all aspects of higher education need to be pushed in a technology driven direction. There are some subjects that don’t lend themselves to MOOCS. Also, I personally see a lot of benefit to having a connection with one’s professors and peers. Though technology may make teaching more convenient, or easier for students, that does not necessarily mean that they are getting the best education possible. I also agree that teachers should not be criticized for refusing to transfer their material into a technology friendly media. Professors should be trusted and respected in their field, and should not feel pressured to compromise their methods to accommodate the parameters of technology- just because it works well for some, doesn’t mean that technology is applicable for all.