Thursday, September 22, 2016

"It's not students with smartphones but professors' teaching methods that are to blame"

I want to share with you my translation of a blog post (Spanish) by my friend and colleague Jose Luis Orihuela, a professor at the University of Navarra, author, and keynote speaker.

Orihuela is addressing a problem that faces many teachers and professors: they say their students are distracted by all the media on their smartphones and are not paying attention in class.

Don't blame the students, he says. Blame the professors.

"It has to be said again: the problem is not that the student is distracted by technology but that the professors have to change their methods and the content of their teaching.
"It's easy to place the blame on the students and their devices; the hard thing to do is redesign education to adjust to a culture of connectivity. You can't teach against the culture of the students. You have to build on top of it."
He mentioned a well publicized column by a professor in Uruguay who decided to throw in the towel rather than fight against students using Whatsapp and Facebook in his classes.

Orihuela went on, however, to says he encourages those teachers who are adapting and admires  those who are changing.
The real challenge isn't students using tech devices in the classrooms, but rather professors learning to be digitally literate.
In this video (Spanish), Orihuela elaborates on the topic: