|Photo: MCGunner on Imgur|
|CC BY Some rights reserved by Brett Jordan|
Distractions have always existed but computers make it more obvious and seem to many as an intrusion. As a teacher it can certainly seem intimidating to face the sea of laptops pictured here and wonder if anyone is actually listening. But the main issue is that we have to really think about why we want to gather students in this sort of room at all, given that they can access lectures, articles, films etc from anywhere. What does the classroom offer that cannot be done with a webinar or social network? In particular, what does the traditional lecture hall offer that makes attendance unmissable? How can we make the face-to-face contact really work in this environment? Or maybe we have to see that lecture halls only really work for one way communication and that they should be reserved for really special lectures. Maybe live lectures will become special occasions rather than everyday chores and when you go to one you know it's going to be special. The rest are already available whenever you want on the net.