Bribing the students with shiny trinkets

Welcome to school, here is your iPhone. More and more colleges are handing out the high tech device to lure students and distinguish themselves as "tech friendly." Schools emphasize the usefulness of having everyone online, but some professors express concern. It is hard enough to keep students' attention in a large lecture hall without a high tech toy for distraction.

But therein is the issue. Today's college students are technology natives and have ALWAYS had computers, cell phones and other technology at their fingertips. They shop, research and surf online. They connect with people all over the world in chat rooms and social networking sites. Many play realistic computer games with amazing graphics and sounds. Then they walk into the college classroom.

All too often they encounter a boring professor talking from yellowed notes in a monotone. The basic methods of teaching at a college level have not changed to keep up with the changes in the student population. Where are the graphics? Where is the excitement? Does learning really have to be boring?