Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I am at the Distance Learning Alliance Conference in New Bern North Carolina. As I sit through the keynotes and various presentations I’m realizing its mind boggling where education is has been going just in the past few years. To think where online instruction was ten years ago and the phenomenal strides that have been made in just one decade. Such as the high level of technical sophistication that Course Management Systems like Blackboard are developing and the vast array of instructional communication tools online teachers have at their disposal.
Teaching / learning has gotten more mobile and the thing that is becoming more evident to me is the MELDING of tools, applications and rich media throughout the internet and in our culture in general.
This is all new territory and I don’t think anyone can predict where the technology is going. I see it all getting more and more seamless and fluid weaving between the web, course management systems, blogs, podcasts, video content, text messaging, Instant Messaging, Screen casts and even voice mail.
I see the bigger challenge as educators is to harness, channel, master all the various technologies, applications and media into our teaching styles and methodologies.
There’s no doubt the culture is changing worldwide and without a basic understanding of the various learning styles of different groups of learners we as educators can’t truly incorporate / apply these powerful tools into our classes.
All this change can certainly be intimidating to teachers. Especially instructors that are new to online education. The one thing that is becoming more and more evident is just how computer literate educators have to be these days, in addition to being willing to commit to the concept of “life long learning”. Its not just about knowing your content anymore. We have to be content specialists as well as keep ourselves abreast of the constantly changing / evolving content delivery systems and melding tools and applications. To me its a matter of embracing it and NOT being afraid of what the future has in store for us as educators. There really is no choice if we are going to remain viable and credible in our classrooms whether they be online or in a more traditional setting.
Teaching is so much more than just teaching in 2008. We are all at different points on the technological continuum and be willing to accept this fact of life and do our best to accept and even thrive in an ever changing and very dynamic teaching / learning environment.
Click here for link to my presentation that my colleagues and I gave yesterday.