When Is Old School the ‘Best School’?

Here at ProfHacker, we strive to introduce you to the newest technologies and tools that can streamline your workflow, making your work life and even your home life a little easier, a little smoother, a little more manageable.  I don’t know about you (and I’m looking over my shoulder to make sure other ProfHackers aren’t reading this), sometimes those new fangled gadgets get in the way of my productivity.  (There I said it.)  Learning curves can be steep.  The tools can be expensive.  Using them in classes, for example, can serve no pedagogical purpose other than to be “cool.”  (And I frequently tell the neighborhood kids to “get off my lawn!”)

In all seriousness, though, technology is wonderful and it gives us options in how we handle the thousands of tasks we do in our professional and personal lives.  I’m an early adopter of most technology in classes and in my own personal life; I do appreciate the options it gives.  However, older, maybe more traditional methods serve a clearer purpose.  Sometimes, the older methods are just preferable because of emotional connections to that method.  For example, I prefer chalk boards over white boards (the classrooms I’m in rarely have markers that work anyway).  I feel like a teacher when I write on a chalk board.  I also prefer:

  • Reading from and annotating a real book (not an e-book)
  • Writing on a yellow pad with a pencil (not a mechanical pencil, but a real No. 2 pencil)
  • Using a small spiral grade book to record student grades (not the CMS or LMS)
  • Populating a real hang-on-the-wall calendar with tasks and due dates

To be fair, I’m an early adopter of new technology in my own life and in my teaching life.  But sometimes, I prefer the older methods.

How about you? What “old school” technologies do you prefer and why?  Please leave comments below.


[Image by Billie Hara and used under the Creative Commons license.]

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