Potter Artifact: Covid update for Hogwarts tech
Updated: May 19, 2020
My nephew recently tagged me on this, a humorous article that maps instruction in magic at Hogwarts onto the Coronavirus isolation practice of distance learning.
I am, as a teacher, deeply ambivalent about "technology" in the classroom--the word, used by educators, describes computer devices in the classroom--is both pompous-sounding and meaningless: chalk and slate is technology as well, if you deploy the word correctly. Soon after I made the mid-career switch to a computerized gradebook, I realized the first rule of classroom tech: new devices are unreliable, and will demand time for their own set-up, implementation, care and maintenance--time robbed from face-time instruction in the classroom, belying the fantasy of supposedly more modern, more effective instruction. (And let's leave the equation of 'modern' and 'technology' for another day: the best instruction is always modern, and has been for several thousand years; relevance arises in the quality of the dialogue, not from the presence of a circuit-board). So, I've lost more lessons to digital tech than I'd care to count, and no doubt the author of this piece has been in the same position. No film strip was ever so finicky or in need of more "magic" than the smartboard.