Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Replace the teacher?

On my run this morning I was listening to Jeff Utech's podcast, On Deck. Episode 7 of this podcast is a discussion with a group of year 6,7 and 8 students from TeenTek after they had watched footage of the new Microsoft multi touch interface. This was a really interesting discussion as the students predicted what technology like this might mean to their classrooms.

Jeff asked the question, "What could this technology replace?" The students discussed this for a while and after a few suggestions one of them said, "The teacher". A discussion then ensued as to how this could happen and the students mentioned that you could download textbooks and have your schedule on the screen and work through it etc. I started to think that these students saw teachers as the deliverers of knowledge and agreed with them whole heartedly that a teacher could be replaced if that was all they were doing.

Take a moment, think about your class, would they think you could be replaced with the latest cutting edge multi user touch screen technology?


I would hope that my students would think that this technology would be a cool thing to use alongside me. That we could do even more interesting and innovative stuff than we do now. That they would see that we are co-constructing knowledge and above all, that we are creating a culture of learning in our classroom based on relationships. Learning is constructed through interaction with others, collaboration leads to deeper understanding and seeing alternative view points. This cannot be replaced by downloading a schedule and a textbook, what do you think?

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1 comment:

JMcIntyre said...

Hi Jane,

I'm glad to see that you are trying to incorporate new technologies into your classroom, rather than letting the new technology incorporate us! As teachers, we should always find new ways to add to a student's learning.

For example, at my school, I teach a group of gifted students for about two hours per week. Instead of having me just talk to them for two hours, I have them download workbooks from http://www.dedicatedteacher.com. By downloading them at home, the kids don't need to carry any extra books around, and can do their "readings" at home on their own time. That way, when we meet up, we can discuss what the students have discovered, and just clarify the things that they didn't understand. So, even though the computer has taken over the role of teacher for them, I can do what no new technology can do: and that's give feedback, direction, and answer questions.

Keep up the great blog!