Infusing Technology Skills into the Law School Curriculum
31 Pages Posted: 7 May 2014
Date Written: May 5, 2014
Legal education has never considered technological proficiency to be a key outcome. Law professors may debate the merits of audiovisual teaching tools: do they work when they should?; do they facilitate learning objectives or are they just toys?; whom should they call when something breaks?; and so on. Teachers use course management sites like TWEN and Blackboard to share information and manage basic course functions. Many fear that laptops and other devices distract students in class, and some institute outright bans. Among many law teachers, technology is warily accepted, but only for the purpose of achieving traditional educational objectives.
What if educators viewed technology as a competency that students need to master in order to succeed in practice? This paper will identify gaps between the use of technology in practice and in our classrooms; suggest ways that we can change what we teach, and the way we teach, to address the disparity; consider the benefits/drawbacks of developing new courses, or infusing technology-related outcomes throughout the curriculum; and propose methods to encourage professors to teach with technology in ways that model the practices of successful attorneys.
Keywords: legal education, law school, technology, educational technology
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