What is apparent to me this week is that our readings, and our interactions, thus, our discourse is shaking the cobwebs of my own pedagogical belief system and is challenging my own long-held beliefs that technology without tight reins is simply a distraction to real learning. I found myself observing students this week and really watching how they integrate technology, discourse and learning to accomplish real tasks that are meaningful.
By stepping out of the way, and allowing the flow of the process to take place, I found myself questioning much of what I thought I knew. I am seeing so many situations where I can honestly say that four wall and desks is not the best way to deliver instruction in a particular situation. At the same time, there are classes that I teach where the interaction between myself, the students and the material is rich, invigorating and rewarding and I just can not see how that could be replicated in an online delivery situation.
I have heard discussion within the educational establishment that the charismatic teacher cannot be the reason good learning takes place and that there needs to be a system in place that is reliable and dependable and valid. Part of that is true, but the other part that is so often dismissed is that there are those that are gifted to teach. There are those moments where the face to face interaction is the only way that lives have been changed. The art of teaching is the very concept that has frustrated the bean counters, because it cannot often be quantified.
Online learning the ability for interactive electronic discourse has certainly changed lives and opened doors, and is transforming education and learning. I still question whether or not that good teacher can touch hearts online the way that she can in the classroom? Just thoughts. 🙂