Last week I gave a presentation on “Social Media in Education” to some future classroom teachers. What I prepped was a “Here’s the why”, “Here are some tools”, “Here is how you can use them personally/professionally” and “Here is what you can do with them in the classroom”. I wanted to model some tools along the way like Poll Everywhere, Today’s Meet, and Padlet. We didn’t get very far. The students raised some interesting questions and points (see bulleted points below) that I really needed time to reflect on (see rambling responses below bulleted points). The first part of this post went out on Saturday (7/6).
- What research is there to support 1:1 teaching?
There is research available if you look for it (Nick Sauers and Scott McLeod put together a great article on this exact topic!) , but I also have a couple of other thoughts.
It’s not about the device - 1:1 is about access!
1:1 is what you make it. If you use your device as an overpriced worksheet, it will be as effective as a worksheet. One student voiced her concern about using technology for self-grading multiple choice questions. Her thought was WHY are we still using multiple choice questions as form of assessment when there are much better ways to assess student learning? I understand these things.
But what if you make it something bigger than a worksheet or a self-grading multiple choice quiz?
What if you are using your device as a means to create, connect, collaborate, and be a change agent? What if we are inspiring these qualities and nurturing these abilities in our students? What if we create a blog for a 1st grader to share her thoughts and views? She becomes excited about sharing her work (How many people do you think saw my blog?), she becomes aware of her writing (Did I spell these words right? Can you help me fix my mistakes?), and she becomes a young author who moves from sharing life experiences to creating stories. She gets feedback from teachers online AND in the halls, she works with classmates to develop ideas, and she recognizes that her voice is important.
|Rylee, age 7, sharing her blog|
- What will happen to our jobs if more courses are offered online?
This was the only question that really upset me, and I didn’t see it posted until later when I went back through the TodaysMeet.
If what you are doing in the classroom can be wholly replicated in an online course, then you aren’t doing your job. At least not well. There is definitely something to be said for quality online and blended learning opportunities, but there is a lot more to school and education than putting content on a page. And the online courses that are TRULY meaningful and successful have a highly effective educator behind them who is available (maybe virtually, but definitely available), practicing sound pedagogy, and supporting the needs of the learners in the course. And that teacher still has a job - it just may not look like the “traditional” teaching job.