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Faculty Forum


hen Nicholas Carr penned an article in The Atlantic last summer, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?,” the buzz it created became a topic of scholarly debate: Are the Internet and similar new technologies enhancing or detracting from the learning experience?

topics such as the works of 19th century German philosophers or the chemistry of carbon compounds. At the same time, advances in technology allow students real-time cross-global chat from Tacoma to Taipei and give aspiring archeologists experience with digs around the world through real-time video conferencing.

Today, college professors who face a generation weaned on YouTube, Facebook, instant messaging and Wikipedia can find daunting the challenge of engaging young minds on esoteric

The website “Supercomputing Online” celebrated June 30, 2008, as the 20th anniversary of crossing the threshold to the modern Internet and all that was to come. Scene took the occasion to assem-

ble five PLU faculty members for a conversation about technology and its affect on teaching and learning. The forum was moderated by Robert Marshall Wells, assistant professor of communication, and included Spencer Ebbinga, assistant professor of art; Greg Johnson, associate professor of philosophy; Rose McKenney, associate professor of geosciences/environmental studies; and Bridget Yaden, assistant professor of Spanish and director of the Language Resource Center. Their conversation has been edited for clarity and length.



Scene Magazine - Fall 2008