If it’s all online, what am I going to teach?
Posted by Bill in Educational Tech on Saturday, April 29, 2006 Permalink
When I was presenting in New York, a person nervously asked “if I put everything online, what am I going to teach?”
Heh. Good question.
What would I teach if I didn’t have to teach basic facts or concepts? What would my classroom look like if my students had already reviewed my lecture notes or the lesson? If they had already listened to podcasts, reviewed the class wiki, and read the notes from previous classes? What would my teaching look like?
I’d say I would be doing what I love; challenging kids to really think. If we understood the basics of the civil right movement, we could begin to debate the similarities and differences between civil rights of the 60’s and the illegal immigration movement today. Students would be able to engage in a higher-level discourse. Classtime would be spent communicating rather than lecturing. Students would come into the class already knowing basic facts and concepts.
The prospect for many teachers is positively terrifying. Giving up control, giving up power, and becoming a facilitator. At a recent talk by Hall Davidson, he stated that attendance rates dropped in basic and survey-level courses.
This question, I think, moves the very heart of adopting new technologies in the classroom; teachers are afraid of change, afraid of change, afraid of change.
As my friend Walter McKenzie is apt to say “you have to let go of the old ways”.