Monday, 24 October 2011

'Learning' Doesn't Necessarily Mean 'Teaching'...

Or not 'teaching' how you might perceive it.
Below is a short but interesting video that sums up part of what I'm talking about on this blog, and what I'm trying to achieve with my studies. It's where learning doesn't focus on being taught, but on creating things and achieving goals - the teaching is a biproduct.

Mike Masnick - Innovations in Education from SAY Media on Vimeo.

Its from an article on Techdirt that, while focusing on the use of Information Technology, also touches on how education can be fun, more productive and more effective. It also talks about how so much focus is given to class sizes, and how it's supposed to effect the amount of attention given by the teacher to each student. But when students are more immersed in the activities and given the opportunities to share knowledge and to help teach their peers, this becomes far less of a problem.

Now, while some of the article focuses on bringing Information Technology into classrooms (and it would, being part sponsored by Intel), I have to make it clear that I dont entirely agree with it. While my research is about 'teaching technology', I dont think pixilating everything from the paper to the pencil sharpener makes for better learning, necessarily.
I think I can speak for everyone (certainly my Mum) when I say that technology can often get in the way. When you plug in a printer and it doesn't work, or when files are lost, or the system freezes...etc. Granted its getting easier and errors occur less with every upgrade, but we are still a long way from a mouse and keyboard being more reliable as pen and paper. And even then, sometimes reality is a far better tool than a touch screen.

The success relies in getting a balance, and not (as Intel would like you to believe) about everything being automatically better if it runs on Bits and Bytes.

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