It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and this time I’m doing something different!
I’d like to introduce a guest blogger – my husband, Paul. It’s interesting that we’ve been simultaneously working on our teaching diplomas…only mine was for adult education, and he is focusing on secondary education. We’ve had lots of great discussions about pedagogy vs. andragogy, how to engage learners, and what makes teachers awesome. Paul needed to write a few blog posts for his current field experience, and I thought this was a cool opportunity for us to have our teach/learn journeys on the same page. I hope you enjoy reading what he has to share!
It’s hard to believe I’m in the last week of PIDP 3240 (online)! And that means it’s time to wrap-up the blogging – for now. It’s been a busy, but enjoyable, 8 weeks…lots of great discussions with peers, some cool new web 2.0 tools to try, and of course having the motivation to blog regularly.
When I resurrected this blog for PIDP 3240, my initial post was about teaching naked (eek!). I was confused…why is a course about media-enhanced learning using a book that says get technology out of the classroom??? Working through the course text (entitled ‘Teaching Naked’) and through the online discussion forums, I’d like to share a few things I have discovered about teaching naked.
First truth: There is no need to remove clothing. Ha!
Second truth: Technology in learning is inevitable, and it can be a very good thing. The best, and most common way for students to first be exposed to new material is online. Technology has given us more content and more ways to deliver the content.
Third truth: Face time is too valuable to waste. Our classes need to deliver something more than what students would get if they just stayed home and accessed the online resources. We need to make class time meaningful – something they don’t want to miss. If they can just get all the info online, why bother showing up?
What really hit home for me about Teaching Naked was that students need and crave connections – with their instructor and with their peers. Technology is great, but it is only a means to an end. Students want instructor contact, discussions, opportunities for feedback, engagement, social/professional bonding. And instructors want the same thing.
Teaching is about balance. The perfect mix of technology, teaching practices and human contact…
Here’s an interesting spin on teaching! And no, I don’t mean the band.
- Active Learning
- Cooperative Learning
- Discovery Learning
“ACDC Leadership and Consulting was created by Jacob Clifford in 2007. We are dedicated to creating student-focused teaching resources that make learning exciting, powerful, and fun. We offer teachers, schools, and districts a variety of programs, activities, and workshops. […] we have what you need to get students out of their seats and into the curriculum.” http://www.acdcleadership.com/
One example of a student project using the ACDC program is having the students create a music video using course content as lyrics. I remember taking anatomy and physiology and wishing it could be converted into song lyrics…the terminology would be much easier to remember if I could sing through it!
Here’s another example of using movies/music to help student remember content that may be difficult to recall: (I shared it with my nursing class and they loved it!)
The damaging effects that screen time has on individuals has been thoroughly researched and well documented. However, when studies recommend to limit screen time, they are generally referring to recreational screen time. So where does necessary (work/school-related) screen time fit into the equation?
Surely our bodies suffer the same health issues whether or not we are logged in for pleasure or business. So it is interesting to me that with the explosion of online education, no one really speaks about the health concerns associated with this kind of screen time. I recognize that online courses are more involved than matching various candies in a row, however, our bodies are surely suffering the same health effects. Sedentary lifestyle, increased risk of obesity, heart attack, stroke, decreased vision, poor concentration, brain atrophy, and the list goes on… (As I sit in front of the computer typing this, I can feel my pulse rate rising with unease).
Universities need to keep up with the times and offer online learning, I get it. Learners want convenience, flexibility, and online courses offer all this and more. Online learning also saves the learner and the school money (no room booking fees, resources available online, etc.). But has anyone really considered the costs… the ones we cannot put a monetary value on…?
To read about the damaging effects of screen time on the brain, click here.
“Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.” –research authors summarizing neuro-imaging findings in internet and gaming addiction”
(Lin & Zhou et al, 2012)
With all this discussion of bringing technology into nursing, it’s important to remember that there are some essential nursing skills that are very low-tech. I kind of alluded to this in my post on Virtual Reality…these are the skills that can’t be taught with technology alone. I’m talking about:
- intercultural skills
- interpersonal and communication skills
- caring qualities (kindness, warmth, compassion)
Don’t get me wrong…we need technology to help us learn and advance, but we cannot be nurses without these low-tech skills. As the American Sentinel University states so clearly, technology may be fine for nurses, but “technology can only work for patients when it’s combined with highly competent, relationship-based care. And this is why nurses must embrace their low-tech skills, as well as develop new high-tech competencies.”
To read more of this article: http://www.americansentinel.edu/blog/2012/05/30/nursing-skills-high-tech-vs-low-tech/
Here is an interesting live debate, weigh in if you like! Is school more about grades than actual learning?
I was interested in this topic after marking the first assignment for my nursing school class. One student made the comment, “oh, we thought it was just an easy assignment so that everyone would get guaranteed full marks as a head start on their final grade”. In personal appointments with more than one student who was unhappy with their mark, it was very obvious that they were hoping I’d change their score. Yet, it was very clear when they questioned my marking, that they did not understand the assignment. I felt then, like it was more the lost points they were worried about then learning why they had lost the marks.
It was the same when I marked the midterm exams… I sent everyone their mark and also let them know what the average score was. I received 4 emails back (in a class of 38), with students telling me they were disappointed in their score because they were anywhere from 0.2-0.4 points below the class average. As well, I had one student who was disappointed with her mark – 92%!! In fact, it was the highest mark in the class. This kind of response from the students, with a focus on the actual score, rather than the exam content, made me question whether the course means anything to them, or if it’s just a grade. Perhaps the assessment tools (exams and assignments) need to be re-vamped. Or, maybe, as this article suggests, the students should appreciate the challenges and the valuable lessons they learned in college, and strive for self-improvement as a result of hard work.
I came across this TedTalk today…I was initially viewing talks about teachers who take risks. But I found this one held my attention – for the exact reason that the clip is about: the speaker has magic. He has a way of communicating that captivates listeners, keeps them on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what he’ll say next. Is he taking a risk by using his magic? I think so! Straying from traditional teaching methods tends to get a lot of raised eyebrows. And how about the way colleagues may react? (Could be interest, feeling upset, envy, or even jealousy). But if the outcome is having engaged and interested students, then would it not be a risk worth taking?
It’s appropriate to reflect on the topic of ‘Thankful’ on this Thanksgiving Day. My Facebook feed was filled with friend’s posts of family, turkey dinners, and pumpkin patches. There are so many things I am thankful for, it would be difficult to sum them up into a photo or status update (although pumpkin pie is pretty high up on the list). Of course I’m thankful for family and friends. But I’m also thankful for so many amazing opportunities in my career as a nurse, and now nursing instructor. It’s a very rewarding career – one in which I feel like I often receive more than I give. And I am seeing that teaching is very much the same. It’s an honor to be helping students in their learning journey to become nurses. It’s a privilege to be a small piece of their education and nursing influence. So for each of my students, I am thankful. I’m a mere ripple in their lake of learning, but for me, that is huge.
Here is a cute video from my favorite Kid President – his list of 25 reasons to be thankful (now if only he could become the next real president…):
I am planning to take the Teaching Perspective Inventory this week. I love taking online quizzes, but I usually don’t take the results too seriously. How can this inventory improve my ability to teach? Can I predict what my results will be? Here’s a quick rundown of what the TPI is/does:
The 5 Teaching Perspectives
- Transmission – instructors are committed to/passionate about what they teach
- Apprenticeship – instructors are experts at what they teach
- Developmental – teaching is through the “learner’s point of view”
- Nurturing – efforts to achieve come from the heart, not the head
- Social Reform – seeks to change society
In taking the TPI, instructors will discover what their own views of each of the perspectives and how they are expressed through beliefs, intentions, and actions.
You can take the TPI on this website: http://www.teachingperspectives.com/tpi/
So….what do I predict my results to be? Since I am primarily a clinical instructor, I think that Apprenticeship will be at the top of my list, and Social Reform will be at the bottom. My teaching goals are to ensure that student’s learn specific tasks that they will be required to perform in the healthcare workplace. We aren’t looking to change the world of healthcare, we just keep things running smoothly and safely. I do feel passionate towards my profession (nursing), and I hope that Transmission will emerge as a dominant perspective in my inventory. I suspect that the Nurturing perspective probably lands somewhere near the bottom, since learning concrete skills requires efforts almost exclusively from the head, not the heart. Perhaps Developmental might appear in the middle of my perspective inventory. It is my aim to build upon student’s more basic understanding and knowledge and develop this into the ability to pull together their learning in order to be able to problem-solve and critically think.
Let’s see how well I know my own teaching perspectives…