In University, teachers' traditionally process curriculum and their teachers feedback through the conventionally designed mental constructs: lecture, note-take, memorize, respond to assessments. Although a prescription for a fractional form of success--authentic learning is an exploration of self, delving into the mysteries of the psyche and what motivates us as humans.
Homo-sapiens are known for their adaptability, and those that are reflective and introspective enough can self-learn by making mistakes. In the digital epoch, in which we currently reside, the role of teacher/learner takes on a much greater significance. The geometrically accelerating tech advances requires a new sort of person. One who can alter their direction and shift to essential foreseeable learning domains as they occur. Digital teaching and learning is one such domain.
Teacher training, self-discovery, adaptability is a matrix critical to the success of the Tech Age teacher. Innovation in technology and the expansion of broadband has cultivated, out of necessity, an industry whereby students are able to access teachers in the alternative virtual domain. Teaching and learning in such a format creates new challenges and manifests old ones. One that occurs to any teacher or student in this new teaching paradigm--is the notion of trust and integrity. Historically, the scripted approaches of teaching in the highly controlled and regulated direct instruction environment are not easily transferred. The presumption is that students will have time to engage the curriculum thoughtfully, and with integrity, and it is expected in this new format. This teaching model, not coincidentally, reflects a constructivist instructional philosophy at its core. Simply, that an individual creates and shapes their own knowledge through life; it is not transmitted to them as passive receptors of knowledge.
Teachers must critically engage this thought model and facilitate a customized and individualized plan for student instruction. The digitized environment naturally appeals to the teacher who realizes this opportunity to foster students who are, by all accounts, evolving as individuals. In future blog posts I will explore: student/ teacher relationship, strengths and weaknesses of virtual teaching, the independent learner and Lamarckism, and critical learning application.
Dr. Keith Lockwood
Manager of Teacher Effectiveness
Proximity Learning Inc.