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Opportunities for Students in High-Tech Classrooms

July 10, 1992



The Learning page article "High Tech Lures the Humanities," July 6, tells only part of the story. The real thrill of interactive television comes from teaching teachers how to help learners create and build their own life-long learning.

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A teacher's regular review of the videotapes from class discussions clearly shows: (1) how the moderator technique is working to maintain useful flow, (2) where each student needs help with integration, articulation, and self-direction, and (3) how and when best to provide them with or help them find necessary information in advance so that class time can feature the students engaged in debate and discussion.

Our revolution-in-learning-through-technology is also coming from linking students widely separated in location, culture, and situation, and letting them interact for 75 minutes twice a week. The students also learn from each other. They acquire solid foundations through the exercises. They create their own videotape lessons, which then become part of the following semester's course material. Teacher becomes guide, student becomes companion-learner-contributor.

New technology should not be one more focus upon the teacher's lecture - it can become the vehicle for redesigning the outmoded parts of the profession, and offering alternatives which are learner-centered and therefore more educative and productive. Guy Bensusan Flagstaff, Ariz., Humanities Professor, Northern Arizona Univ.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.