Riffing on Books and Life – Arts & Sciences Literary Blog by interactive new media author & artist Terry Bailey

22Oct/18

When Students Are More Tech Savvy Than Their Teachers

Facebook Photo Terry Bailey

Facebook Dialogue

Terry Bailey:
Oct. 20, 2018 - Subbed a college coding class last week. Students asked if I had a smart phone. I said, "Of course." They said, "Most of our professors still have flip phones."

Note: Several people here clicked the like and the funny emojis, and others left the following comments, to which I responded.

CC: Many of them are part-timers living on subsistence wages, cobbling together a meager income from three or four institutions. Flip phones are all they can afford.

MS: This is so true. It doesn’t matter of the community colleges pay better they still pay shit. I had to teach 24 credit hours in order to pay my bills and I don’t have a car payment and I only pay a couple hundred dollars a month on my student loans. It’s criminal what they’re paying professors.< JK: Only if you're a full time tenured or tenure track faculty member. Part-time faculty are paid by the course at a very low rate with zero job security. And part-timers make up the majority of the faculty.

CC: Only if you're a full time tenured or tenure track faculty member. Part-time faculty are paid by the course at a very low rate with zero job security. And part-timers make up the majority of the faculty.

MS: Just FYI they lowered the starting pay for profs at some CCs to 50k full time. I left academia after 20 years of this crap.

MS: That’s in SoCal where 50k isn’t gonna pay for much

JK: I heard of a couple jobs at ELAC that paid a lot. Temp biology gigs, but, for whatever reason, they were high.

E: The jobs I see on their website are 65 an hour. I agree that 50k is too low. That's absurd for teaching at college full time.

Terry Bailey: While I can certainly sympathize with the salary plight of college professors, the intent of my post was to share the plight of students, not teachers. And while, at first glance, my post may seem comedic, it is not. As I stated, this was a coding (programming) class (in a computer science department). I teach design and programming of web sites and computer apps. What the students were referring to is the fact that the teachers who are supposed to be teaching them these subjects don't even have the devices that these web sites and computer apps run on! This is pathetic. While in some cases it may be that professors can't afford them, in other cases the professors are simply old-school and have not kept up with technology. A professor simply can't do an adequate job of teaching smart phone app or mobile web site design if she/he does not own or use a smart phone! Would you want someone who had never flown an airplane teaching your kid how to fly? This post is not intended to propose solutions for professors' lack of knowledge or equipment, I am simply trying to start raising alarms about the serious problems facing students in our schools today. When class ended, three of the students insisted on walking out with me. I was almost brought to tears when they surrounded me on the sidewalk after class asking me if I was going to teach full-time in the spring, asking if I taught somewhere else that they could take classes. "You have what we need to know, " one of them told me.

TF: Wow. This is what they get for the student debt.

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