The Economist discusses a reversal of traditional teaching in a scenario at a school in Silicon Valley. Students have seen the presentation at home and then come to class to work on KhanAcademy maths material while their teacher supervises, follows their progress and attends to individual problems and needs. Teaching is individualised, interactive and fun! This reminds me of some of my earlier experiences with teachnology when students worked individually or in pairs in the computer room leaving me free, as the teacher, to follow them and work with them on a much more personal level than is always feasible in the more traditional classroom. Since then, technology or fashion has changed: the computer rooms are gone and IWBs are in with the return of up-front teacher-led classes. it doesn’t have to be like that of course.
The article points out that ultimately any technology is only as good as the teacher using it: “It can liberate a good teacher to become even better. Of course, it can also make it easy for a bad teacher to cop out” and the text continues to stress that the single biggest variable in education is the quality of teaching and this essentially depends on the teacher more than the resources they work with.
My daughter came home from school recently in wonderful mood because they had finished the day dancing to something on the Wii. I am sure there was a very good reason for this but the most important thing my daughter learned that day was that the Wii exists and we should have one at home! O thank you teacher!
The full article is at. http://www.economist.com/node/21529062