What about the ‘who’?
I’ve recently noticed that lots and lots of people around me seem to be worried about how to reach others, or what they should do to make sure others pay attention and focus. This is true not only in a classroom environment, but, needless to say, that will be my focus on this (quick) post.
I understand few people conduct studies about the effects of A, B, or C on learning, but many tend to just go with the flow. “Why do you do this?” you ask. “Because that’s how everybody does it,” is the usual answer. Instead of trying to come up with new technologies and how to integrate them into learning, why not worry a bit, just a bit, about the people in the classroom who are there to do he learning? Some learners learn better by the use of different tools, and what is true to you won’t be true to all. Maybe learner A loves using the computer for his learning, but what if learners B and C benefit more from slips of paper?
It all comes down to listening to your learners and understanding what works for them – not what you believe should work for everybody and simply impose it on learners. There have been many thoughts about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, but what about the ‘who’? Simply saying that we always bear our learners’ best interest at heart is not the same thing as actually doing that. We ought to give them choice, we ought to listen to them and respond to their needs accordingly. And if they choose to use something other than the Internet, computers, and IWBs, we’ve got to be prepared to give that to them. Our ultimate goal is their learning, not their use of what we think they should be using.