The issue of technology in the classroom is certainly a thorny one. As Jim reminded us in his intro, the issues of technology in the classroom are old, and this was a point made by Schwier as well. I also liked that Schwier reminded us that technology isn’t just hardware and software. I think we often forget that in the 21st century. I was also very taken with Lanier’s point about “not killing the magic,” and loved his analogy of the “virtual spaceships” as a means to teach creatively and move students. His quote that “Learning at its truest is a leap into the unknown” had so much resonance for me.
I think all of the reading and videos for this week pointed out that the use of technology is what is important. I agreed with Schwier that solutions to technological problems are inherently based on science. I also liked Lanier’s ideas about being ambidextrous. I think that is something we need to think about as instructors. How are we using technology so that we are enhancing the learning process, not learning for the students. Ko and Rosen touched on this with the ideas of reading the core material first, and using the lecture to discuss issues and complex problems contained within the material. I think that is something I am going to start using. Ko and Rosen also reminded us that ‘Making the internet optional rather than incorporating it into the curriculum dooms it to failure” (371). It is important for us as instructors to remember that students are busy as well, and if we want them to buy into our new learning environments, we have to offer incentives.
I use blogs and journals in my f2f and hybrid classes, as well as with my purely online. I find that these are great ways for students to teach themselves and each other the material, and they free up my time in lecture to move into more complexity with the material. This summer, in my f2f class at MCC, I am going to steal Lisa’s curating idea from the video last week, and have groups curate images for the week and lead discussions, freeing up lecture time to go in depth on other issues.
I leave you guys with a Ted talk about instructional design, and teaching a variety of disciplines together.