Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I’ve written a lot about “teaching with technology” and harnessing the power of the internet / computing into education. Lately I have been thinking back to when we didn’t have the internet, e-mail, cell phones or computers.
We taught our students in classrooms “face to face” without anything more complicated than overhead projections and slides. There’s no doubt in my mind that we as college teachers in 2008 are working harder and longer trying to keep up with the various software, hardware and course management systems that constantly are getting upgraded with new and more sophisticated versions. Sure, I’m a strong proponent of distance learning and incorporating technology into my photography and art courses, however I think it’s important for educators to step back every once in awhile and remember that our primary focus should always be on teaching students. We’re dealing with human beings and it’s very easy to lose sight of the human element when we are all caught up (and stressed out) by the various dynamics and challenges of incorporating technology into our teaching.
I for one am a little nostalgic for the days when I spent hours in the darkroom and studio with my students – now I teach digital imaging, graphic design and commercial illustration (for the most part) via the internet and blackboard. So the questions is….HOW do we as instructors keep and nurture the HUMAN ELEMENT in our courses? That I believe is our challenge as we forge ahead in this new millennium.