The Effective Learning

The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept, is a key element in understanding and accepting a variety of teaching approaches with the common goal of advancing the educational community. The ability to relate personal experiences and future goals as a teacher, is vital in discovering a multitude of teaching techniques that are comprehensible to any type of student. Contemporary pedagogy is explained in the given resources by highlighting the importance of online tools and public writing as a means of progressive learning.

In a live discussion with Seth Godin and Tom Peters, new perspectives of business focusing on blogging are explained as being undeniably imperative. Peters’ says, “There is not single thing in the last 15 years that has been more important to my life than blogging. It has changed my life, perspective, intellectual outlook, and emotional outlook…” Further in the discussion he is quoted: “It’s the best marketing tool I’ve ever had, and it’s free.” This begs the question: should this then not be attempted in the classroom?

From author Jon Udell, linking academia and business, is his steps to “think like the web.” In his manifesto, he describes the importance of working openly and ensuring data is readable by both human and machine. Having a large audience (a public blog post will receive more views than a private email) and unique/memorable URLs allows data to be efficiently managed and available for public use (i.e. Twitter hashtag for an event).

Focusing on academic importance of networking and online teaching tools is where Dr. Michael Wesch explains his research on the effects of social media and digital technology.  He believes that as a global society, technology and education do not always foster significant learning or establish genuine/meaningful bonds between students and professors. While this can be widely understood, it still seems such conclusions are based on students with a specific learning style, and we must keep in mind that although some students may not take with online learning, others may flourish. Opportunities should be merely that, an opportunity, not a requirement.

It is important as educators to understand the magnitude of ways students extrapolate and retain information. Gardner Campell embodies this idea well with this thoughts on higher education: “Offering students the possibility of experimental learning in personal, interactive, networked computing, provides the richest opportunity yet for integrative thinking within and beyond ‘schooling’.” We have the capability to more effectively reach the academic community and have a greater impact on the future of education being open to fundamentally different teaching methods (i.e. using twitter and online forums in the classroom) is the future of a deeply involved and interactive student.