Technology, Pedagogy, and Hierarchy
Today I recieved an email from a representative of [notoriously well-funded on-campus institution devoted to undergraduate achievement] stating that my students should not go there for cameras and iMovie editing since "We have quite a heavy load of classes this semester, and priority has to given to the needs of Faculty." I exchanged another round of email with said representative to ensure that I was not mistaken, but indeed, I was assured by this representative that "[This person] would do everything [s/he] could to help TF taught Eng 12 classes, but [s/he] had to give priority to Faculty taught classes."
I understand that this person is allocating limited resources with the best of intention, and probably with direction from institutional leaders. This decision begs some important questions, however. Are students in TF classes less deserving of access to equipment? Is English 12 (almost always taught by a graduate student, post-doc or adjunct), a required course, not an appropriate space for new media pedagogy? Does this policy not unfairly burden the Writing Program? What does this say about how UNC-CH values Rhetoric and Composition?By contrast, is a faculty taught course (generally not a WP class) assured to be the right place to explore technology in the classroom or new media? Are students in faculty taught courses handicapped in such a way that they cannot fight the masses at the library? Are faculty more able/less able than TFs to guide students through technology assignments? Do students learn more in faculty taught classes? Are the courses worth more on their transcripts? What would be alternative ways to divide the "haves" from the "have nots" than by instructor rank? The subject matter of the course? (Courses about new media get the thumbs up, others don't. . .)