Technology is the way forward for learning and teaching. Or is it?
I am, as you may know a huge advocate of technology for learning and teaching. I am, as you may not know skeptical about how it is used and integrated into our learning and teaching environments.
I have seen cases where technology is over used in certain circumstances and maybe under used in others. It does not help of course that the technology and ideas of integrating it are changing almost on a daily basis. One thing that seems to be more stable is our commitment and desire to tech. The passion to promote our own learning and to pass on our knowledge successfully to others is paramount in the desire of our educational commitment. Technology is just a tool for us to use to enable us to help pass on this knowledge in various ways that may or may not be more suitable to our students. We all know that students prefer more face-to-face contact then screen time, however online study is becoming more personal and now allows students even more control to plan and structure their own learning. Not a bad thing.
It was however refreshing to be part of a project here at London Met to help promote a small number of academic science lectures*. These were to be captured (filmed) for current and future use, as well as hopefully promoting the lecturers in-depth research into their chosen topic and presentation skills. The passion and enthusiasm that radiated from the presenters was resolutely acknowledged and applauded.
As good as the technology is and how it can potentially even more accelerate our learning and teaching it is not able to elude confidence and enthusiasm. This of course comes from our students, our peers and us.
I am not saying getting a tick or a 100% score or a ‘well done’ from an online test doesn’t make you feel good, but it generally stops there. Having been to a great lecture, class or presentation leaves you wanting to find out more. Enthusiasm is infectious. Maybe that’s to do with human contact, sharing and emotion. Sadly my PC/Mac lacks this software.
* Summer Science Lectures at London Met
Chris O'Reilly is an Educational Technologist and freelance advisor for online educational learning material and development.