Archive for September, 2009
There have been several versions, remixes and translations of the Did You Know? (Shift Happens) presentation since Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod’s original video hit YouTube in 2007. The most recent version Did You Know? 4.0 was released this month. Although the statistics are mainly focused from a US perspective, these videos always manage to provoke interesting conversations.
For more information visit the Shift Happens Wiki.
Here we find a paradox within the argument as to universities’ collective fate. The same technologies that are proposed as replacements for teachers and classes are actually improving both. Recorded lectures don’t really replace the educational experience of taking a class, but they sure help when you’re trying to remember what your professor said at the beginning of the semester. New media don’t teach students by themselves, but they are excellent resources in the hands of a capable educator. If a technology can teach a certain topic better than a human can (say, a game to teach foreign language), it will be deployed to that purpose – but the teacher still take over where the technologies fail (which is to say, they are tools). Even as new technologies are offered as the new teachers, they make the traditional teachers even better at their work.
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We all tend to be most comfortable with familiar practices. And thus, thinking about changing the way we teach can be intimidating. At the post-secondary level, a rich and powerful tradition surrounds the practice and construct of our teaching and learning activities – embedding face-to-face lectures, labs, tutorials and seminars as foundational components of undergraduate and graduate instruction.
The information revolution, however, is radically changing the way in which the global community communicates, accesses information, collaborates, constructs understanding, disseminates ideas, learns, and teaches. And the changes in information and communication technologies we have witnessed over the past decade will in all probability be exponentially eclipsed by the changes of the next.
Kevin Kelly – author and publisher – in his classic “TED Talk” introduces some radical thoughts about the evolution of information, knowledge and technology as he attempts to predict the future of information technologies and the further revolutionary changes they will certainly invoke in our lives (and thus, perhaps, our teaching).