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Desert Diary


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Those of you taking classes may have noticed a tendency in recent years toward the use of PowerPoint or similar presentation packages for lectures instead of the traditional chalkboard usage. For those of you who haven't taken courses in recent years, such lectures consist of a series of projected slides, often with high-tech bells and whistles.

Those arguing for such technology point out that complex diagrams are quickly handled by slides; a split second is sufficient to present each concept rather than perhaps minutes spent with chalk; and once prepared, the same slide can be used year after year. Those arguing against the use of this technology offer the same points: complex diagrams flash on the screen with little time to consider the interrelationships shown; concepts are presented without being developed over a long enough time for integration; and the temptation to reuse already prepared, but possibly outdated, slides is high.

Many teachers pride themselves on being technologically advanced, and certainly modern technology is amazing. The question remains, though: is it necessarily best for the student?
pen and ink

Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest.


Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.