Bugeja adds in a comment to Soltan's post linked to above the following:
Cost is the issue. No research to my knowledge documents any learning benefit according to empirical analysis–in this case, raising hands as opposed to clicking keypads in those hands.In the article, he suggests that the idea for investing in clickers came from a few faculty who'd been pitched the technology along with textbooks by publishers. The IT department was simply commissioned to implement the technology after the fact and very little analysis of the costs or benefits was done by either faculty or the IT department. I wonder how many other "educational technologies" came about this way. There's often an assumption by faculty that the IT department or Teaching Centers cram technology down their throats. But I wonder if it's not really the case that a few faculty started agitating for something. Where did the idea for CMS's come from? But really, no matter where it comes from, I agree that before investing in anything, technology or otherwise, one should do the cost-benefit analysis. I had to do this just to purchase a printer in the corporate world. One would think that in academe, which are supposed to be non-profits, that such analysis would be even more important.
Here’s my point:Unless we stop underwriting any benefit, especially without the above analysis, technology–which promised to democratize academe–will continue to corporatize it, at the expense of the Humanities, I’m afraid.