Date of this Version
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2021, 22(2):45–52
Post-pandemic exigencies such as isolation, technology fatigue, and financial pressures can be embraced as opportunities to return to, and strengthen, core values in honors involving student agency and community. This essay considers the pedagogical benefits of receding from technology in the classroom. Drawing on recent empirical research concerning the deleterious effects of tech in the lives of students, particularly as they relate to community and agency, authors make the case for providing students with tech-minimal experiences. The essay presents several examples of tech-minimal experiences from the authors’ own teaching inside and outside of the classroom—including Tech Shabbats, communal reading, and contemplative walks. Survey data and student reports indicate the positive effects of these experiences and an efficacy for bolstering community and student agency. Authors suggest that the temptation to go tech heavy in a pandemic (and post-pandemic) classroom must be reconsidered, especially in light of the amplified role tech already plays in students’ lives. Authors conclude that at a time when financial pressures threaten to constrain what honors programs can do, tech-minimal experiences are inexpensive ways to enrich students’ lives and make what is best about honors education flourish.