How can we change teacher’s minds?

September 3, 2007

Alright I must admit that I really liked the ending quote in Dr. Lowell’s blog “You learn by making things part of you. If it’s part of you, how can it be distant?” If we take an objective point of view of education and focus on the goals that teachers are to achieve, it does not matter how the learning takes place.

Many educators today, both on the collegiate and secondary level, believe that distance education is not nearly as effective as in the class lecture delivery of information. If we look at what learning really is, which is a new part of us, then it does not matter whether your guide in gaining this new information is in the same room as you or across the country.

Now, am I saying that all education should go to a distance education style? Certainly not. There are situations that technology is not the best delivery system available. Obviously when learning via a distance learning setting that has an asynchronous communication between the instructor and the student, the learner must be disciplined enough to complete the learning activities on his or her own. I have a strange feeling that middle school students would need an occasional “focus” from an instructor unless the learning was in the format of a game or other interactive application.

A valid argument could also be proposed that many teachers do not like distance education due to the fear of the unknown. Many of the teachers that are teaching now attended school prior to the invention of the internet so they are not extremely technology savvy. These teachers feel as though distance learning is just another new thing and they will be retired by the time distance learning or technology integration is widespread and/or mandatory in instruction.

I guess my rant comes down to people are comfortable doing what they know and have done for the majority of their careers. But an old cliche comes to mind, if you do what you have always done you will get what you have always got.


One Response to “How can we change teacher’s minds?”

  1. dancingnancy533 Says:

    Technology should not completely substitute everything teachers do in their classroom. Yes, middle school students would not be able to do several online assignments on their own due to a much needed “focus” from the instructor. We should consider using distance education as another trick we can pull out of our magical teaching bag. When used as a resource, it will help expand our students’ comprehension of the content to which we want them to learn. Isn’t that what we really want?

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