This style of teaching:
This style of teaching
For blog post # 10 we were asked to write a short essay on Morgan Bayda's post, An Open Letter to Educators.
In her post she describes her experience in college concerning two very different types of teaching and learning. She also references a you tube video by Dan Brown who gives a rather lively explanation on the birth of education and how it has evolved over the years and consequently how it attributed to his decision to quit college.
Miss. Bayda explained that she feels "cheated" in her education when she is in a traditional type college class. By traditional, I mean a professor stands in front of an auditorium filled with students, giving a power point presentation of facts and information on a subject area, in which the students are then required to "spit" back out the facts that have been memorized for a test. Miss Bayda goes on to say that in those types of classes she is never encouraged to collaborate with other students or give her opinion unless it is to her professor. she then compares it to a computer education class, which is the polar opposite. This class encourages collaboration with peers, welcomes opinions and requires a more active approach to learning by the students.
So, for me, the question here is: Which type of learning is better for students?
I will answer this question by looking back at my own college experiences. I quit school very early on due to life circumstances and decided in the Fall of 2007, I would "start" college. I enrolled at, Bishop State Community College and was there for 6 semesters, I left there with a GPA of 3.9. My classes there were all traditional in nature with the exception of Keyboarding ( which I don't think fits the more modern approach to education). I sat in a classroom with 25 other students and listened to lectures; some teachers even used power point, which to me was better than just listening to someone talk. Lecturing without any visual aids is boring and it is hard to stay awake, especially if the instructor has a monotone voice. Having had no other opportunity to learn in a different style, traditional teaching worked well for me at Bishop State.
As I came to, The University of South Alabama, in the summer of 2010 and walked into Micro-computing in Education, I knew something was different. This class was definitely not what I was used to. I was told by Dr. Strange that we were doing this course entirely by internet using a computer and would require a lot of time and energy. There was so much to take in; blogging, alt and title modifiers, and a lot more that I didn't understand, especially because I was not as technologically literate as I thought I was. Needless to say, I dropped the course real quick and went on to take something that was more in my "comfort zone". I think because I was not introduced to this type of "modern" teaching, if you will, it scared me and intimidated me and to be honest, at the time I didn't want any part of it.
I signed back up for Micro-Computing again this time with an open mind and the will to learn in a new and different way and I must say this class has made me a better student, as I have never had to do very much "independent" thinking before. Now I am an independent learner and always looking on the internet for more information and learning new things. There are so many awesome programs, websites, and blogs that offer information on all kinds of subject matter via the internet.
I will go on to say that, I like both kinds of teaching and do quite will in both settings. I don't mind lectures with power point. Sometimes, depending on the subject, I tend to retain and understand what is being taught with something that is explained in detail and being able to write information down. But, I do like having a computer to look up information and collaboration among my peers (as long as they are not slackers) can make learning something new so much more fun and interesting.
In conclusion, I don't believe that one style of teaching in more important or better than the other, I just think that people are different and learn in different ways. I do think that keeping an open mind about learning can be valuable in the education process. There are several ways in which to do something and learning is no different. Being closed minded in regards to education can be a hindrance, so accepting and taking part in different forms of instruction is the key to a successful college career.
Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!
In this blog post Tom Johnson, shares with us a conversation with a colleague, in which she tells him that students should not be allowed to take pencils home because of an article that concluded that students test grades suffered because of pencils and paper being sent home with the students. Tom interjects with his own view of how taking home pencils were not a problem, it was that the students (who came from a primarily low income family) didn't know how to use them appropriately. So he came up with a solution to the problem by explaining to the students and their parents what the kids are learning to do with the pencils. He also explained that using a pencil, even if it is to play hang man, can be a learning experience.
To be honest, I am not sure what to make of this blog post. I guess what I can take from it is this; If a problem arises, don't focus so much on the problem but, be a seeker of knowledge and find a solution that all students can learn from.