A few days ago I sat down with Tom to ask how things were going for him at midterm. We often give students a midterm report or ask them for a midterm evaluation. Given the distributed and potentially de-centered experience of a MOOC, it seems only fair to ask one of the teachers to give his own midterm evaluation–not only of the students’ performance, but of what he has learned so far.
Throughout the Technicity story, I’ve tried to get at this elusive but vital factor in education: what the teacher learns. We focus a great deal on student learning, as well we should. Our students are the ones paying the tuition and supporting our scaled-up institutions. They’re the ones who most obviously hold the future in their hands. But they’re also the ones who see the future and its possibilities through the eyes we help to focus and attend on what we believe to be important, salient, essential. Here’s the strange loop, the level-crossing loop. Any good teacher must also be a learner. And in addition to one’s own life-long learning within, around, or through a field of study, we who teach must also, and always, be prepared to learn from our students. They too will help us see. And when they see that we learn from them, and that we are bold enough to jump into new learning experiences using our wits and our expertise to push ourselves far beyond our comfort zones, we model in our own lives what we seek to encourage in theirs.
With those thoughts, then, here’s Tom Sanchez and Technicity at midterm. The interview was recorded on an iPhone, so the image is shaky and the audio levels are uneven. I hope the message comes through loud and clear, in any event. My thanks to Tom for sitting down with me once again to talk about his experience. The interview was recorded on Friday, May 17, so “starting the third week tomorrow” means “starting the third week on Saturday, May 18.” 🙂