Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Students Don't Need Teachers - ALL THE TIME!

In the connected classroom of the iPod, cell phone, voice recorder variety, the teacher serves more as the guide on the side than the all knowing sage on the stage. In the connected classroom, the teacher orchestrates and directs, the teacher suggests scales and motifs, but the students, ultimately, are the real players and music makers in this educational concerto.

We write everyday in my Media Literacy class. Some days we may only write three or four lines, but daily we engage in some type of journaling. My students log their entries either in Google Groups, blogger and of late, in Google Presentation. And since there is no text book for this course, a large portion of the journaling requires learners to track down people, places and events, online.

Since January, I've been preaching the gospel of the guide on the side. The gospel of Google it and look under foot. I'm convinced that students don't need teachers - ALL THE TIME. And to ensure my inevitable obsolescence, all of my students have erected elaborate cathedrals of learning on their desktops - aka iGoogle, Netvibes and Pageflakes accounts. Yet despite their clickable, gleaming digital academies, my learners are still prone to demand that I give them answers to questions that are but a mouse click away.

Last month at EduCon I posed the question, how do we motivate students to more than awaken, to look under foot for solutions and answers? How do we encourage learners to sit on the edge and behold their academies like structures in a mist?

There is no one right answer, however, I believe that computercentric routines coupled with precise web searching language is at least a step in the right direction.

Journaling prompt from my Media Literacy class

Google search language for approximating the best answer to the query

After guessing incorrectly, students were encouraged to use the computer calculator to determine what year it was 43 years ago.

Harlem + 1965 + February 21

Once we empower students to talk the talk, to awaken, to look under foot for answers, they won't be so inclined to depend on the teacher all of the time, for everything.

H. Songhai

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  • At February 24, 2008 3:32 PM, Blogger .mrsdurff said…

    The more i ponder this problem, which i share, the more i think that time and numbers will help ameliorate, though not eliminate, it. Time for all of us to walk the talk will increase experience. Increased numbers of educators using these cathedrals of learning will increase expertise. I refuse to be a teacher. I am staunchly a learner and loudly declare this to all learners in my room. We all learn from our networks, which include those physically present as well as online networks. Our networks are visible to us through your cathedrals - what a wonderful word picture!


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