Friday, July 31, 2009

Teaching Naked... without Technology?

There has been lots of "talk" on the internet regarding an article entitled "Teaching Naked" and other people's responses to it. College classes, aka higher education, are the focus, not elementary school classes. Nevertheless there are some applications to the elementary school environment.

I have used more quotes in this actual blog than I ever have used before in any blog post. Hopefully not too many, and hopefully my multitude of quotes will pique your interest to delve into the issue more deeply and view the actual posts that I am mentioning and others out there on the internet.

The "Teaching Naked" article basically says that the time spent in class should be used for discussion, problem solving and extension of learning, rather than to lecture and disperse information. Students can "read" that information outside the classroom scene and come to class ready to "debate" the issues, to extend the learning, to apply the knowledge, to progress.

Mr. Jose Bowen is NOT against technology. Listen to the podcast along with the article in Higher Education Chronicle for his thought process.

The article in the Chronicle of Higher Education notes that "...students, some of whom have groused about taking a more active role during those 50-minute class periods." This comment implies that there are current college students learning/desiring to learn in a 19th Century model.
Today's college students are expecting 19th Century Teaching. They want to "coast" along with the "regurgitate the text" model. They are upset that they might have to THINK. Perhaps it will take a few years for the "digital natives" to arrive at college.
...says Mr. Heffernan: "Students have been socialized to view the educational process as essentially passive. The only way we're going to stop that is by radically refiguring the classroom in precisely the way José wants to do it. ....Introduce issues of debate within the discipline and get the students to weigh in based on the knowledge they have from those lecture podcasts, Mr. Bowen says."

As Academic Hack states "...but that’s the point, to make them uncomfortable, to challenge them to learn better."

Critical thinking and application of knowledge is where REAL learning takes place. As K-12 21st Century teachers, we must teach students with higher order thinking including starting this teaching at the elementary school level.

A great deal of valid information and dialogue on this topic also comes from the Comments Section:

"...most of the old ways of teaching are predicated on a scarcity of knowledge, the idea that an expert can stand at the front of the classroom and disseminate information which the students soak up, because this is the best way to learn. I think technology renders that model pointless. And I think this is true across disciplines, that all disciplines will have to think/rethink how they use technology to teach."

"I am not saying every class should use every bit of tech, but what I am saying is that every class needs to recognize that the digital network fundamentally transforms the way we share, produce, and archive knowledge, and to treat it as if it has not (to teach in the old factory/industrial centered ways) guarantees our irrelevance and does a disservice to our students. The digital is not something that is supplemental, something that can be merely, tacked on, added on to the curriculum, it is a fundamental shift in the nature of knowledge."

"...a pedagogy of participation and collaboration. The use of digital technology, whether wiki or blog or whatever, just offers more options to extend this model.

The idea is NOT to eliminate technology from teaching. It is to use the correct technology at the correct time to enhance the learning. Each situation is different. There are many different technologies to choose from.

"The issue is not technology but using the technology well to teach our students," says Academic Hack. "Teaching without digital technology is an irresponsible pedagogy. ...Eliminating technology produces not the affect of a more engaged literate student populous, rather it produces the reverse, an ill informed, uncritical, unengaged student populous who will become at the very best passive consumers of the technology being resisted, and at the worst its willing victims."

Teachers must prepare students for their future which is DIGITAL. Students need to be fluent in using digital technology and savvy enough to understand when it is proper to use it, when not to use it, and HOW to use it effectively and appropriately.

This teaching BEGINS in the elementary school curriculum. Then we truly will have DIGITAL NATIVES - graduates of repsonsible 21st Century Learning.

What are your thoughts on this?

How do you see elementary teaching to prepare digital natives for their roles in the lives of their futures?

No comments: