Posts Tagged ‘horse’
The old saying about technology integration was that the pedagogical horse should lead the technological cart, and not the other way around. It is about what to prioritise.
The problem with this analogy is that each can function on its own. The horse can move or be ridden independently of the cart. The cart does not need the horse (it could be decoration, just like interactive white boards).
The saying has been updated. Now some like to say that technology integration is like a driver (pedagogy) in a car (technology). This seems more current and apt unless you realise some people who say this still insist pedagogy should always lead technology.
What is the person alone? What is the car alone? Alone neither gets anywhere. They need to be integrated without one being promoted over the other in order to go on a journey and arrive at a destination.
If you use this analogy, then you must also acknowledge that technology and pedagogy go together. One is not more important than the other.
The Chinese zodiac tell us that this is the Year of the Horse.
At CeL’s department meeting last Friday, I told my staff that 2014 would be the year of change. More change than usual, that is.
On the personal front, last year seemed to be the year of talks for me. I was invited to give several even though I dislike talks.
This year is already turning out to be a year of school-based consultations. So far a handful have asked me to advise them on their technology-enabled journeys.
Like the talks, I can barely spare the bandwidth. Certainly not when I am teaching and barely when I have other change initiatives to manage.
But I think that action is still better than talk. So I will see which schools have the best fit and I will do my best to help.
About a week or two ago, I read a digest on school-related news with a equal measure of amusement and dismay.
Unnamed teachers lauded the yet to be named online portal of 2016 that promises to provide customizable content for learners. Even though “portal” is overused or sometimes improperly used, it was not what amused or dismayed me.
What did was the fact that teachers believed that the officially-sanctioned resources would promote self-directed learning (SDL) among learners.
These were press reports, of course, and you cannot expect non-teachers to understand that SDL is a continuum of behavior. Heck, I know that some teachers think that SDL is limited to them directing students to read something outside class on their own time.
I was dismayed that SDL is still misunderstood. I was mildly amused that some teachers think that a portal is a solution.
The expectation around a portal is that it is a place and that “if you build it they will come”. If you make it really good or seem very important, then even more will come.
But this was the promise of schools subscribing to content and learning management systems. Such technological systems have been used in old ways (repositories) or relegated to the periphery (e-learning days). I hope that from the CMS and LMS we have learnt that “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink”.
The horse will only drink if it is thirsty.
SDL is tied to mindsets, motivation, and methods. It could be driven by the individual learner or by heutagogical practices of a teacher. A portal is not necessarily going to incentivise it or guarantee it.
Only thirsty learners are going to find the water and drink it. Responsible educators are going to show them how to find and drink from good sources of water. A portal is not going to create that natural thirst or provide that metacognitive skillset.