Op-ed on why lectures can be good for learning (at least, sometimes)

Listening continuously and taking notes for an hour is an unusual cognitive experience for most young people. Professors should embrace — and even advertise — lecture courses as an exercise in mindfulness and attention building, a mental workout that counteracts the junk food of nonstop social media. More and more of my colleagues are banning the use of laptops in their classrooms.

Eve Marder's excellent essay on lecturing with chalk, not Powerpoint

I'm picking up my chalk tomorrow.

Teaching with chalk forces students to experience the material in real time. The tangible reality of chalk and board create the moment — remember Marshall McLuhan’s “The medium is the message” (1964)? As I draw or write on the board it gives my students the time to take notes. Images ready-made in PowerPoint or on overheads can come and go too quickly for students to process, and the images can be too complex, making their core principles difficult to discern. (Because I can’t draw very well, I can only make diagrams showing the essential points.) Teaching with chalk makes it easy to stop mid-thought or mid-diagram and ask the class what comes next, making students active participants in the developing logic of the lecture.