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Fear Factor: e-Learning Edition 4

I challenged my audience in 2013 with a series of slides led by the one above. My intent then was to provide a fourth element in a loose but critical scaffold for thinking about MOOCs.

Back then, I asked them if adopting platforms like Coursera would serve their underserved (they evidence then was that it would not). I challenged them to ask difficult questions like: What might the consequences be if they did not rely on evidence-based planning and approaches?

Today I position this questioning element in the context of emergency remote teaching. How do we respond to the fear of asking and getting answers to the following questions?

  • What mistakes did we make and what did we learn from them?
  • Why were we not better prepared? How might we be better prepared?
  • How do we level up our collective capacity towards seamless learning?

The last question might be informed with this useful framework from Scott McLeod.

The other questions require a brutal and honest look at ourselves. Will we remember enough and be brave enough to do that when we are on the other side of the COVID-19 curve?

”Difficult Times” by currybet, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  currybet 

A refrain I hear repeatedly from folks who are responsible for promoting ICT integration into education is make it easy for the teacher who is resistant to this change.

I refrain from endorsing that mindset or practice. I see the point of increasing adoption by lowering the bar, but that also lowers expectations to an unrealistic level.

Like most worthwhile things in life, integrating technology effectively is hard work. It is harder than just lecturing for example.

It is much easier to talk to an audience (and fool yourself into thinking they are learning) than to create experiences or authentic learning events.

It is easier to just give answers than to draw out with questions or guide meaningful learning.

It is far easy to keep doing things the same old way than to reinvent yourself to stay relevant.

A semester ago I lost my favourite room on campus due to repurposing and reflected on what I do to create station-based learning. It is hard and sweaty physical work. It is difficult to plan and react constantly.

So why put up with difficult?

It is actually fun to stay on my toes. But more importantly, I see what my learners get out of it. I am encouraged by the feedback that I hear and read.

If you put your learners and learning first, the difficulty of integrating technology well will pale and fade into the background.


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