Friday, 21 November 2014

#edcmooc"All in all there's a 'smart-board' on the Wall"

We don't need no pen and paper...
"All in all there's a 'smart-board' on the Wall"

Thinking about teaching and new technologies takes me back in time to my school days and brings memories of one of my geography teachers, who knew every page, in fact, every comma and every full stop of our prescribed geography book by heart. I remember following what she was saying from the top of her head, in the book I had in my hands. Initially, I stare up at her in amazement – What a performance!, but soon I lost interest as there was nothing more to it and I asked myself: Why should I listen to her If I could read the book myself?
As far as I am concerned, education has been target of a lot of criticism over the years, with critics emphasizing the need for improvement, above all, concerning the idea of prompting learners to think for themselves. Seemingly, this has not been the case in the past few decades, with teachers not used to the idea of being challenged. In fact, depending on how far you go back in time, 'physical punishment' was a common practice.
The use of Metaphors in the context of technology has been part of one of the discussions in this course, and therefore, I feel I could probably refer to my geography teacher as ‘robot’, or at least as someone with a perfect 'memory system’. Would that have been a setting where 'humans' replaced 'robots' rather than the other way round? It is hard to say, before defining 'what is it to be a human'-  another interesting discussion we came across in this course.
Certain advertisements available in the weekly resources, displayed an utopia vision of the future of instruction, where a lot of engagement could be noticed, notably, when kids build a bridge together. At the same time, dystopia views presented images of people who hardly interacted with each other. As an online student myself I have experienced courses were I felt quite isolated, yes, very much like 'reading a book on my own'. Only now, I learned that there are clear distinctions between 'xMOOCs and cMOOCs' and a course such as 'E-learning and Digital Cultures' does allow for a lot of engagement and an opportunity to 'think for ourselves'.
But, how about empirical knowledge? How important is it to have 'mentor'? Would blended learning be the answer? One thing is certain, in the past we would ask our teacher, today, we google it. Perhaps, 'we don't need no pen and paper…’

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of the book-reading teacher as being a human replacing a robot. Thank you!