Home > Teaching, Teaching Assistant > Native North Dakota-Part II

Native North Dakota-Part II

Today in History of North Dakota was the second installment on Native North Dakota and the technology worked. Dr. Porter began by discussing what the class put down about themselves on Friday. We have folks from a number of communities in North Dakota and Minnesota (big surprise given where we are), but also a fair number from different states and even a few from other nations.

In addition, students had a wide variety of opinions on sports teams and animals, with most preferring dogs, which led Dr. Porter, who is a cat owner to remind us all that “Cats rule, dogs drool”, but I digress (and dogs rule ;)). With that out of the way, the lecture continued from where we left off Monday. Students learned more about the Plains Village Tradition and then the Plains Equestrian Tradition, with brief examinations of tribes representing those traditions. Included groups were the Cree, Chippewa/Ojibwa, Crow, and the “Sioux”. Overall, it was a good and informative lecture.

There was one small issue, as a student decided to text message someone, but Dr. Porter handled it quickly and the person apologized. This makes me think about the various technological devices students use and the negatives about them. While laptops can allow students to take notes via a word processor, they also pose a potential distraction for students. I would venture to argue that most students with laptops out are checking email, Facebook, and watching Youtube videos. These uses of this technology are disrespectful to the instructor who has given of their valuable time to prepare and instruct the student on a given topic, and, disrespectful to fellow classmates who may be there to actually learn something. Overall, I believe that laptops should not be allowed in the classroom and that if a student texts in class, they should be directed to leave the room. While they are adults, choosing to engage in what I would consider childish behavior in class warrants treating the situation as if in a high school. Obviously, I would exempt someone who had a job that required being on call, or if a family emergency was occurring or in the immediate, but I know that most instances of texting do not fall in this category. Sorry for the rant, but I wanted to get this off my mind. Overall, the day was great and I had a good chat with the graduate program director. We shall see what the next day brings, so until then, study up.

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