I love lectures

There you go, I said it.

And I can’t believe I’m alone on this. Yet, and forgive the exaggerated simplicity, the message I regularly hear* is that lecture theatres are out-dated and lectures are bad;  small group work and discussions are good.  Now, don’t get me wrong I see a great value in flexible furniture & small group discursive stuff.  But I also love lectures.  Why?

  • The biggie – they give me time to think
  • They give me time to (independently) find, look at & store related material
  • Occasionally they allow me to switch off… of course I’m not actually switching off but thinking about other stuff!

And now, thanks to the wonders of technology and social networking tools such as twitter:

  • They provide me with an opportunity to interact (as much or as little as I want to) with others who are keen to do so because they are participating in the same lecture

Let’s not give up on lectures just yet.  Instead, let’s encourage better ‘lectures’,  delivered by engaging teachers who are better supported and willing to push the boundaries in (of) the lecture theatre:

*and where do I hear this? Usually in lecture theatres…

Reader Comments

  1. “Technology is just a tool”, right? Well lectures are just a tool too, and like all tools, they’re only as useful as the person using them is skilled. After a few hundred years, you’d think academics would be pretty handy with the lecture tool by now. But in many cases, you’d be wrong. (Of course it doesn’t help that most academics get punished for teaching). So how do we move forward from here? My feeling is that the answer to that has more to do with motivation than technology or tools.

  2. I totally love lectures.

    And when I can’t attend, I listen to them. RSA podcasts. Gresham College podcasts. TED talks. Experts and thinkers setting forth in your ear on the way home from work. And then the questions and answers, for other perspectives.

    Usually I’d rather be there, but we are soooooo lucky to have the mp3, one of my favourite technologies.

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