Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28,2010

Morgan Bayda "An Open Letter to Educators"
Click Here to read her blog post.
Below is the video by Dan Brown included in her blog post.

My experiences have and have not been similar to those of Morgan Bayda. Many of my classes require me to be creative and collaborate with my fellow classmates, even though they are lecture based classes. I do agree with her that my "educational computer class," EDM310, has been different than any other classes I have taken and am in the process of taking. It requires me to constantly use my brain, my thoughts, and my ideas, be collaborative, and connect with other people. It's definitely not conventional where one professor stands up in front of a class and lectures for about an hour or more, and then the student is required to memorize the information and take a test and then go on their merry way while they wait for their judgement or grade on how well they were able to spit back the information. I personally prefer the latter more conventional method but I know that's just me. Many people don't like it and feel they got nothing out of it and I completely understand why. I do however learn by the conventional method and probably prefer because for me it's less work. But, I have the up most intentions of trying to stray away from this method when I become a teacher. I know in my heart that it's better to push myself and my students to collaborate, be creative, and updated with the changes of society.

Also, I feel in a lot of ways that this video said a lot of things that I've been afraid could possibly happen to teachers and the education system; that they won't be needed anymore. Maybe Dan Brown's right, if teachers won't keep up with the changes then who needs them anyway with "liberated" information. Although, I need to be taught by an actual person talking to me even if it's indirectly like, standing up in front of classroom. I know that I can't be alone on that so therefore, I believe there will always be a place for teachers in society. As for information has become free, as in no monetary cost, I don't know I'm inclined to not agree with that statement. One has to pay for the device to get the Internet as well as having to pay to use the Internet. It might not cost the thousands of dollars it takes to get a college education at an institutionalized University, but it's not free. I guess if someone can't afford access to personal Internet, they can go to the library.

The way a person can get information has changed, and the education system does need to recognize this. The way a person can learn information has changed undoubtedly and even though it seems scary, as everything unknown does, it's time to reexamine the system and make changes.


  1. I also need someone to teach me, but it does not have to be an adult standing up in front of 20-200 students. I learn best from friends, the people that make a difference in my life, and from things online that I am interested in. I learned how to model a 3D character not as part of a class, but from other people because I wanted to, and this information will stick with me longer than anything memorized for a test.

  2. Note Kayla's very important point: "I learned ... not as part of a class, but from other people because I wanted to, and this information will stick with me longer than anything memorized for a test."

    How true! Nicely put, Kayla!

  3. "It requires me to constantly use my brain, my thoughts, and my ideas, be collaborative, and connect with other people. It's definitely not conventional..." Wonderful. That is what I intended!

    "I do however learn by the conventional method..." But what do you learn? I think the outcomes of learning can be classified into knowledge - what does one know; skills - what is one able to do; and experiences. A lot of people who advocate outcome based education do not include experiences. I do. I believe that in some cases (maybe many), the outcomes cannot be demonstrated at the time of the experience. Take, for example, art appreciation or music appreciation. If pressed, I doubt we would say that the desired learning outcome was to be able to walk into a room and recite the color school to which an artist belongs, or even the era in which he or she painted. Nor would we want the outcome of the music appreciation course to be the ability to identify the composer of a song at the drop of a needle on a record. (I go way back in time). In both cases we claim to be developing an appreciation of music or art. That would mean, I think, that during our life we would enjoy viewing art or listening to music (probably live performances) on a fairly regular basis. But we do not know whether this lifetime attitude or set of experiences will happen. We have some reason to believe that if a person experiences art or music in their "formative" years they will appreciate art or music in the way we intended. But we cannot make that determination at the "experience" point in time. So we grade by asking which color school? or what composer? What nonsense.

    In the outcome based college that I started at the University of Massachusetts, we dealt primarily with adults. Many of them came with many years of "appreciating art" or "appreciating music" and could prove it. Then we could certainly certify that the objectives we had in mind had been achieved. But when we deal with 18-22 year olds, we cannot say for sure. Then, I think, it is absolutely appropriate to define the learning outcome as an experience.

    So what are you learning by listening to lectures? I don't argue that it is not sometimes useful, but it certainly should not be the only way we teach or learn. The world is much richer, and far more exciting, than that! And I certainly do not think that one can learn to use technology by listening to someone talk about it. You have to do it! And I think that is true about writing, and biology, and teaching, and listening, and reading, and yes, even history! I'll save that for later.

    A well written, interesting post!

  4. I echo your concern of teachers not being needed, but I do think there will always be some sort of need for people like us to actually show the kids how to use all this stuff! Technology definitely has its place in the world and we should embrace it as much as possible and make good use of the resources we have to keep things fun and interesting for our students, but still try to teach them something in the process.

  5. I can sit in a room and listen to a lecture and gain a wealth of information. I can take notes and remember what the lecturer said about a topic from years gone by. I value almost every teacher that has ever been put in front of me and tried to further my knowledge. Education is never wasted on me no matter how it is delivered.

    Veteran faculty are my biggest resource, they know more about the school, the system, the subject, classroom management, paperwork, etc. than I will know in several years of teaching.

    That said, I will be new, fresh, cutting edge, resourceful, and able to use many things that they will never want or wish to grasp. I will never replace them, but I will be part of a new generation of teachers and a system that has evolved from the way things were for them growing up, to the way things are for the children of today. If I am not part of it, then I will possibly fail to become a teacher that is happy at my profession. The veteran faculty will not be replaced, but if you are NEED to grasp this or you will never reach their status of VETERAN.