We were in Manning Park this weekend, with very spotty wifi, so while my partner was running a 50Km trail run (yes, he’s crazy), I was reading and re-reading bits and pieces of these chapters, and trying to find something to focus on in my first journal assignment. I’ll leave those musings for that assignment.
But what I was frequently thinking while I was reading, was just how much learning has changed in a tremendously
short period of time. We have gone from a very traditional model that I think most of us grew up with – teaching standing in front of the classroom lecturing to a passive audience, to what we have today, which is a plethora of alternative teaching/learning experiences available to us. Not a particularly unique thought, but it is pretty astounding when you take a step back and see where we have come in such a short time – mostly with the advent of technology.
My mom was a French teacher in the public school system in BC, and she was very much part of this traditional “lecture, exercise, homework, test” model. She died in 1990, so it’s safe to say that she wouldn’t recognize some of the educational models that exist today, in part because she never heard the word “internet.” My entire career has been inextricably linked to technology in various ways, and now I find myself in educational technology – managing online programs.
The link between learning and student engagement seems pretty obvious to me. My most profound and memorable moments in my long history of education have always come when learning theory was applied to my life. My education at Douglas College is the most powerful example of this for me, because I was equipped with real, tangible skills when I completed the program. The relevance of what I learned there was in stark contrast to my BA from UBC, which resulted in the acquisition of no skills, other than an improvement in my writing and some life lessons in adulthood.
My interest in this course is about student engagement techniques that will be applicable and transferable to online learning. I’m pretty excited to add some more tools to my toolbox.