Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Teaching Teachers in a New Networked Classroom

One of the joys of my job is the opportunity to meet instructors all over the world. Sometimes I'm meeting old friends in new schools; others, making new friends in old schools. Whether those educators are using our software tools or considering the possiblities, I get to connect with them, virtually and in real time, about teaching and learning.



One teacher I met had over ninety links and documents he wanted to embed into his unit map. He uses BBC video feeds, you tube, teacher tube, podcasts, and anything he can find on the internet or create digitally to capture his students attention.



Other teachers ask what "refresh" means or how to link.



Still, no matter where the teacher falls on the spectrum of using the internet, the most critical factor is the accessibility students have to using the web during instruction. In connectivism and constructivism, the greatest contribution to meaningful understanding lies in the students' ability to manipulate information to make connections between those subjects we still divide to instruct.

Based on my experience in early childhood, teaching in a new networked classroom means providing consistent and meaningful hands-on experiences in the "network" under the guidance of a learning educator.

My favorite moments in teaching are those when the students and I would make discoveries together while trying to answer a question I couldn't.

1 comment:

Jeff Utecht said...

"the greatest contribution to meaningful understanding lies in the students' ability to manipulate information to make connections between those subjects we still divide to instruct."

And this is what we need to get education and educators to understand. That it's the forming of new knowledge from information that is learning. That we must allow students to go out find information and make new meaning of it. That is their culture anyway. They remix videos on YouTube. They create their own content on facebook and they learn from their friends. How do we apply what they are already doing in education? We must realize that they have the basic concept down, they just haven't yet (or are not allowed to) apply these concepts to their formal learning in schools.