All of the reads for this week were pretty interesting and I greatly enjoyed reading each of them. One thing that all of these readings had in common was how technology could affect the teaching-learning process. There were some pretty good examples of how technology could be utilized in pedagogical practices, in fact, technology seems inevitable in today’s world. On one hand, I am impressed and amazed to see how technology and digital learning offers immense potential to bring great changes to the teaching-learning process, while on the other hand, I ask myself, “Are we ready to embrace the change?”
We constantly hear and talk about all these wonders that technology could bring in education. However, how often do we actually bring technology to our classrooms? Some of us still have so much love for overhead projectors that we really aren’t ready to even adopt PowerPoint or other multimedia presentation tools in our classrooms. We would rather have our students turn in their homework assignments on paper than submit them online. We don’t want our students to bring their digital devices in classrooms and would rather like them take notes on their notebook using a pen/pencil because we think our students get distracted from the lectures.
The truth of the matter is that we do like to see the change but we ourselves aren’t ready yet to take the initiative to bring the change. In other words, we are too lazy to put additional efforts to change something that’s already out there-packaged and ready for us to use. Think about how often do professors want to change their style of teaching or even the syllabus or lecture notes when they have so much other things to worry about? However, this doesn’t mean that every teacher is the same but there are only a few who really put in efforts and show dynamism in pedagogical practices.
Every new idea or concept can have both positive and negative sides. If we only think about the negative aspects, we can never move forward. We really need to build some courage to face the challenges and be ready to embrace the changes. As the old saying goes,
“Old ways won’t open new doors.”
Sara Lamb Harrell
September 10, 2017 @ 10:34 pm
I really enjoyed reading your post this week! I think you make a really good point about how we all like to see the new trends in higher education, yet we are all too lazy/lack the initiative to to really push and produce the high quality educational content that we are capable of. After reading this week, I was feeling motivated to want to change the way I present my workshops, classes, and labs in the future. Do you feel the same way about your own presentation methods? What do you think you will do differently in the future?
September 12, 2017 @ 9:27 pm
“we do like to see the change but we ourselves aren’t ready yet to take the initiative to bring the change” YES! what an amazing point Sneha. When presented a lot of times educators groan because now they have to spend some time and effort on revamping their courses. Then the question arises, as the upcoming generation of educators, if not us then who????
September 13, 2017 @ 4:12 pm
Sneha – Even I, someone that advocates for technology in the classroom, still become hesitant about educational changes sometimes. For instance, today while TA-ing a class, the professor brought in cookies while speaking about reduced fat versus original food products. I tried to pass the box of COOKIES to the student behind me and she didn’t even look up to grab them. Instead, her friend beside her noticed what had just happened and took them from me. “What are we supposed to do with the cookies?” she asked her friend. It took everything in me not to say something. This student was sitting in the second row of the classroom and yet was so immersed in her texting conversation that she had no clue what was going on, even when it involved cookies. Did I mention we had cookies today!? : ) While I recognize that there are many positive facets of the usage of technology in the classroom, I do believe there are times when it is utterly distracting. In my opinion, cellphones are such a distraction to students. We had about three go off in our 55-minute class today. But what about that one student that used his/her phone to look up something related to the class? to answer a Top Hat question? to check a grade? I am hesitant to some changes because I don’t think there is always a black or white answer. When I was in undergrad, cellphone were absolutely not allowed in class. It can be difficult to accept that things are just different now!
September 16, 2017 @ 1:41 pm
I’ve taught a number of classes before as an instructor of record. I don’t find it useful to “wrestle” with students over their need to use their phones. My policy is they are adults and they have their own lives (or at least they’re starting to build them). Banning cell phones from class sets you up as a negative authority figure — which can be a barrier to learning to many students. I find a much better strategy is to invite the students to use their phones in a way that is responsible. Remember: they’re at a different stage in their lives than we are. They still need to learn that balance between distraction and engagement.