Looking Back: Buchholz 's "Perspectives from a Former Luddite" (June 2013 - What does the use of digital teaching tools look like in the classroom?)

A few years ago (June 2013), we ran a survey that asked DH scholars to think about the use of digital teaching tools in the classroom. In her article titled "Perspectives from a Former Luddite," Laura Buchholz shares her perspective on "taking the plunge" into using digital tools and platforms to support learning. 

Buchholz says she had expected students to flood her with emails regarding their "technical difficulties" but that surprisingly, "the percentage of students in the class that required personalized help was fairly small and easily managed." She concludes that "figuring out which technology or digital platform was best to use—was really not that important." Instead, she found that helping her students "learn that they can teach themselves to use most any platform for their own rhetorical purposes" was what mattered most.

Over the past few years, what have your own experiences been with students' technical difficulties? What are your thoughts about the importance of choosing which digital technologies and platforms might be best? In what ways has the use of digital tools in the classroom changed or remained the same?


I think my perspective has continued to evolve as I now use blogging as an integral component  in all my courses- both as substitute for weekly quizzes that keep students accountable to read, but also as an idea generator that we can continue to discuss in the classroom. On average in the same class of 35 students I commented on in the original blog, there is now maybe 1 or 2 per section that requires a little help in setting things up- otherwise students seem very at ease with the technology-  though I am amazed that many seem to compose their assignments on their phones as opposed to their computers!  This trend bothered me at first, but overall it does not seem to effect the quality of their work, and actually makes the platforms more accessible. I also love how the digital archive the students create throughout the semester facilitates their ability to reflect on the semester at the end of the course, as they now have a record of their thinking to return to and can see for themselves how the course has challenged and changed them.

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