Sorting the information overload…
I woke up this morning thinking about the way that we operate in the classroom and how it is changing. Recenty I had a conversation with a colleague in which we considered how face to face teaching changed and whether it has really over the last 100 years. Would someone who taught 100 years ago be significantly challenged by todays classroom and the way we teach, this is certainly worth thinking about. After all you can walk into a classroom and there are desks, chairs a white board (which has replaced the blackboard) and yes, some of you have an interactive one (Not to mention that there are those of you out there using iPads, maybe these would look like slate boards). The teacher still has a desk and chair. There are of course computers and Internet access, but could that teacher teach without them and if so they would still be able to do their job. So does the computer and Internet, which can be ignored, change the classroom? My initial answer is yes, it should, but does it—have our teaching practices really changed.
The computer and Internet alone cannot change the classroom and cannot change the learning that is occurring in the classroom. It is the teacher and the way they use the tools and the potential then is limitless. Suddenly the physical walls are removed. When this is thrown into the mix the classroom, or more specifically the learning, is changed and we suddenly need to redefine the classroom, possibly into a learning space that enables a different use to occur.
Taking on board the notion of a wall-less classroom that is rather a space for learning is possibly the first concept that proves difficult to comprehend as it suggests that there is less perceived physically structured learning. Yet removing the walls provides greater learning possibilities. Consider the collaboration that can suddenly take place, the people that can become part of the learning and the way in which it is undertaken.
This video was embedded in a slide presentation by Martin Waller and viewed at a workshop at the New Literacies, Digital Media and Classroom Teaching conference I attended on the weekend, it’s focus was on blogging an can be found at http://www.changinghorizons.net/2011/09/negotiating-the-blogosphere/
With regard to the integration of ICT in the learning process, leadership that promotes a supportive learning environment for staff within this area is vital to ensure that our students are being provided opportunities that support their acquisition of digital literacies, hence being able to function well within our society.