The Professors Ponder. . .

"The best student writers invariably write their first and often succeeding drafts by hand. They intuitively act on the principle that the computer enhances the editing side of the brain, and squelches the creative side."

-Ernest Hebert, director of Creative Writing
Dartmouth University (Hebert 7)

"It's extraordinary to me that a little bit of electricity can carry the spark of class discussion directly into my home and back out to yours. . . [But] I find my work days extended into the wee hours."

"For shy and intimidated students, e-mail is an ice-breaker. . . [But] I still want to see the student; I too like the exchange of smiles, the rise in the voice when an idea is realized."

-Dr. Dona Hickey, Department of English
University of Richmond

"I read a book called the Saturated Self by Kenneth Gergen. This psychology text discusses the frenetic pace and increased expectations people have when access is broader and transmission time is instantaneous. . . This leads to what Gergen calls 'the saturated self,' a condition of permanent information overload that swamps the individual. This is the condition of the typical UR student, I've noticed."

-Dr. Joseph Essid, Department of English
University of Richmond

"But for a slight loss in individuality, has there been a gain in quality? Yes, sometimes there has. Certainly students are far more willing to revise a paper now that it doesn't mean recopying or retyping it."

-Noel Perrin, Professor of Environmental Studies
Dartmouth University (Perrin 6)

"Technology is not a replacement for student-faculty interaction. . . Face-to-face interaction with all its verbal and non-verbal components is best for full communication. As I teach computer science, I find most of my students are at ease with computers and the upper-level students often communicate with me via e-mail about assignments. However, faculty need to be sensitive to students who are 'techno-phobic' and help them understand how to use technology effectively."

-Dr. Joseph F. Kent, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
University of Richmond

"I have found that sometimes I receive communications from individual students on e-mail, both course-related and general thoughts. The positive side is that perhaps they would not communicate with me otherwise, and I'm glad to hear from them and begin a dialogue. The negative side is that this kind of communication might replace face-to-face talking, which obviously is better."

-Dr. Stephen Addiss, Department of Art
University of Richmond

returnReturn to Introductionreturn