Today I gave a brief presentation entitled “Information: Legalize It?” to some colleagues at Pratt Institute. As part of the day’s educational technology “gathering” taking place in the Faculty Technology Studios, I spoke about how I have instituted what I call the “Open Information Environment” in all of my courses. Check out my longer post on this if you want to know the whole story, but in a nutshell I allow my students to use the internet (and any other source of information that does not involve contacting another person) on all class assignments, including exams. This means that I am open to students using their smart phones, tablets, and laptops in class.
I consider this policy “radical”, but it became pretty clear in this gathering that radical is always relative. Most of the faculty attending this session teach in studio programs — or teach in other disciplines where there are no “closed book” exams — so what I was presenting perhaps was not all that relevant. Perhaps the only provocative suggestion I was making was that faculty should consider allowing students to pull out their devices in class to look up information… which might even push the limits of information openness for studio classes. But clearly “my message” needs to get to a different audience, because in the creative fields accessing information in the process of producing work is pretty standard.A Major Post, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Information Literacy, Pratt Institute