There are so many engaging conversations happening about education at the moment. Flipped, blended, global, problem-based, connected, student-centred, peer to peer, guided and blended learning abounds in Google+, Twitter hashtags and wikis everywhere.
Gregor Kennedy’s question and the points he proceeds to make emphasise the role of the teacher in learning. Has the pendulum swung too far he asks? Much of what I have read about the different types of learning does emphasise the learner – their role, their questions, their interests, their motivations – and the question as to whether this is to the detriment of the teacher/ student relationship is a thought-provoking one. Kennedy suggests we are doing well at using technology for dissemination of information, but that this is low-level, uneven and sporadic. We are over-emphasising interaction with the content and under=emphasising the teacher.
Steve Wheeler says the cognitive energy it takes students to manage the learning management system in the school detracts from learning. My experience with the LMS at my school certainly bears this out. There is a similar experience for the teachers, who spend their time trying to manage the LMS, leaving little energy for the true creative art of teaching.
Or as Keith Brennan describes the overwhelm…
We’re failing to focus on what truly matters in the teaching and learning experience – that of relationship. The value is going into the technology and not necessarily the relationship required to facilitate teaching and learning. It’s hard, says Kennedy, it requires time and effort. And attention. Because it matters. The teacher does still matter.