Reflection-Friday-Image-1024x955Jamie  – Does tech actually give us more time?

There lots of data that shows us that as a result of advancements in technology we have more time.  Tasks that used to take weeks, months or even years, now happen in seconds.  All you have to do is think about the difference between sending a message via the pony express and sending an email to know that this is true.  aBut I wonder, do people actually feel like it is true.  Do you feel like you have more time?

I don’t think that I do.  Instead I have this constant nagging feeling that I’m falling behind, that I’m missing something and I regularly wonder when it is that I’m going to catch up.  I think that maybe the reason for this is that while technology did give us more time, it also increased the pace.  So now, we technically can get things done faster but and we also expect get more done.  In essence, each new minute, second or hour that an advancement in technology opens up for us is instantaneously filled with the myriad of tasks that are nagging at us.

So I wonder if the problem isn’t that technology didn’t give us more time, but that we just didn’t know how to protect that time and put it to its best use.

 

Michael – Presenters must be willing to read their audience and understand the concept of product-market fit.

I attended a four day workshop recently, in Paris of all places, and came away with a lot of new information and insight into the writing process for our students.  Loved what I learned in that area.

However, that was not the specific focus of the conference. The learning was supposed to jump into the connection between literacy and digital technologies. The presenters were unaware of their audience of international teachers who are lucky enough to be super well resourced with all kinds of technology.  We would rather not focus on the tools and instead talk about how we can leverage those tools to create digitally literate students.

The presenters were not able to see that our needs and understandings surpassed, in many ways, what they were offering and did not flex to accommodate our needs.

As the recipient of a workshop, instead of the presenter, I learned that I should always monitor my audience to ensure I have a product-market fit between what I am offering and what I am delivering.

Chris – All effective learning begins with the relationship

When I look back at my recent curations I see a pattern. Some articles search for an answer to low MOOC completion rates. Others point out the misguided nature of predictions that this or that piece of technology will change education fundamentally, forever. Each author addresses, with greater or lesser degrees of precision, that all effective teaching/learning experiences start with the relationship. Parents and children can point this out to us. All of life is about relationships. Why should formal education be any different?

So what? What is the secret alchemy of effective pedagogy? I do not have all of the answers, but I know where to begin. Build a relationship with your students. I’ve worked with a number of teachers in training over the years, and the first point I drive home is hta they must reach a child’s heart before they can ever teach a child’s mind. With a strong, positive relationship this energy is focused on learning. Mistakes can be made, and the teacher can be inefficient, but I would take that any day over an antagonistic relationship. That solves nothing. A positive relationship creates infinite possibilities.