Cutting edge educational tools

At one point educators actually believed that the introduction of tools such as slates and ballpoint pens may dampen or even harm learning by students. Now we know better, but with every new wave of cutting edge educational tools, there seems to be a bogeyman that will demean education. 

In my (admittedly short) time as an educator, a few of these bogeymen have been online courses and the use of graphic novels/comics in the classroom. I'm always rather surprised when I hear instructors critique new tools, and I can't help but to think that someday we will look back and view these new educational technologies as being as normal as ballpoint pens.

Indeed, recent studies suggest that both online courses and graphic novels may not be the hamper on education that some may claim. Leveraging this idea, my colleague and coauthor of the graphic novel study is launching an online class (both a MOOC and traditional for-credit course) that will use a graphic novel as one of the required texts for the class. A video introducing the class can be found at

I'm curious to hear what the community thinks of this idea, the idea of online courses/graphic novels as educational tools in general, and/or to hear what you think the next wave of bogeymen in education will be... thoughts?

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