Teaching and learning in the digital world

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The last two readings took me back in time when I first started my journey as a MSc in e-learning student doing IDEL, using various online tools for learning, talking about digital immagrants and natives (Marc Prensky).

How I wish somehow I could distribute these two readings among my teaching colleagues to introduce them to the education in the digital culture.

I had a brief discussion with my e-learning manager this morning asking me what are other advantages of e-learning that he could convey to others besides engaging learners and availability. We need to do more that just telling them the advantages of this type of learning. They need to know and be able to adapt their teaching style from being the teacher who dictates students what they need to know to a facilitator offering guidance and prompting the students to think about the information received and interpret them into knowledge that students are able to apply. Accept their (students) opinions, encourage them to reflect and come up with their own answers based ton the reading provided.

How I could convince some of my colleagues who are skeptical about e-learning and to persuade the to change/adapt their teaching approach to fit in the new learning environment – online. Not just to use the VLE as portal for uploading course content material but use it to engage with students, taking a step back to facilitate learners, guide them rather than dictate what they need to do and know.

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I supposed I cannot blamed them (lecturers) for not adopting to e-learning in their teaching practice as not everyone feels comfortable using the technology and it is not easy to change one’s habit from using a chalk and a blackboard to using a computer screen, having to meet the students in a physical space and using chat room to communicate – familiar yet strange – uncanny?

“…the familiar being rendered unfamiliar, a blurring of the boundary between the animate and the inanimate, … the embodied and the disembodied, the present and the past or absent.” (Bayne, 2010, p2)

However, that should not be an excuse for not accepting/adopting e-learning as being digital is now seen as part of today’s youth culture as indentified in our (Northampton College) training event in November.  We were asked to describe Youth Culture and many of us put down – Internet, online to define our youth culture.  So,  how do we…

“… make the unfamiliar become familiar, to ‘normalise’ to an extent the uncanniness of the digital text.” (Bayne, 2010)

And also we must not forget that not all students will be able to accept this new way of learning.  One must not assume that all “students are digital”, being online is part of their day to day life as not everyone can afford a computer or even time to sit infront of the computer.  This might be the case for many mature students, returning to education or students coming from the low income family.

With the new technology coming into place, new skills are introduced – information skills, information literacy.

“The need now is to learn how to access and use information…” (Usher, R & Edwards, R, 1998, p4)

Whose job is this?

1 comment to Teaching and learning in the digital world

  • Sarah Payne

    Hi Mas
    I couldn’t agree more that we face a struggle to get e-learning accepted in mainstream education. The danger will always be that it is seen as the newest gimmick and is therefore unworthy of the effort involved to integrate it; simply because next year it will be simply be replaced by the ‘next big thing’.
    And thanks for the great stats link – it always helps to get numbers to back up your argument, and as an econonmist by education I loooooove some good stats!

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