Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Generation Next Digital Students in the classroom
This is a superb package with views that will be self evident to many, irrespective whether you're a lecturer or not.
I'm reminded of my own antics, my past which has become part of the school of learning both in and outside my Uni.
Made in 2004 and spotted from the Teachers Tube Network it is inspirational and also motivational and I agree with it more so than I disagree. There are some things I could pick holes.
We might have a philosophical chat on what now constitutes an accepted form of teaching, but yes we live in a visual world, and you have to be on the curve or ahead of it to make sense of the many questions which will be posed.
But after you've watched this I'd like to add my two-bits.
Classrooms can very often mirror society, so the range and diversity of knowledge can be broad. Broad enough to make some students feel inadequate and others to feel under nourished.
Part of the skill is recognising in the compressed time we have, to use Marine talk, "no one is left behind".
Last week I spoke to some of my colleagues about "Learning without Walls" - a world where the Fordisation of module delivery is almost non existent.
Many are gradually inching there, with cross -discipline modules on offer.
So I would hope my lecturer should have broad knowledge of other things. Many experts are looking to the Lecturer pretty soon becoming the "filterer" - much in the same way we speak about the journalist.
Experience is thus a good teacher
But there is another thing I would want from my lecturer/ teacher and I have found them in my own sister, who recently was informed by her educational authority in the borough of Kensington they would like to send newly qualified teachers to observe her.
We've seen him in Patch Adams, a mad bonkers, confident tutor looking to do things differently to heighten his students' sense of worth and sensation.
And more recently I heard her on BBC Radio 4, a breathless woman teacher talking about physics, CERN's new particle smasher, as if it were a racy novel.
I want to be inspired. I want to have fun. I want to learn.
My sister teaches young children, 5, 6 years old and on one occasion disappeared from the class in front of an educational expert and returned with flippers, a wig, face mask and tassles all around her.
The inspector was gobsmacked, the class went "wow" and they finished off their whale story in class of intrigue, group participation and at times utter silence.
Ultimately, and with greater transparency now, to quote Dan Gilmor, my audience know more than I do, and as such I confess I may not know about the latest AJAX. It may even deliberately be outside my sphere of knowledge.
But I'd like to know even if my Lecturer/teacher doesn't know, he/she had an idea of how to get somewhere closer to get to know.
That coincidentally is the job of a good researcher. You may not have the contact number for Obama , but you know someone, who knows someone who does and you can get it.
Teaching is often comodified because we serve a system predicated on exams and learning tolls, but it's also a medium to expand our horizons, to teach us to understand, to teach us to learn how to understand, to teach us that the process is a reciprocal one.
Help me to help you said Cruise's character - and for that no one should truly be left behind.
Post script: Incidentally the inspector who observed my sister at her school called some months later to the school and joined her class again, insisting she should not start any of her methods without him. Do you have spare flippers? he asked.