I remember the first time I heard the term pedagogy. I was in my first semester of study for my Masters, living in a whirlwind of new words and theories encompassed by the label Adlt 601. Pedagogy was, for me, a word to finally articulate what it meant when I saw someone teach and watched as someone learned. There is, in fact, a difference I think. I invite criticism as I propel forward with these thoughts…but I feel as though I may be thinking somewhat in parallel to Sean Michael Morris in his post regarding Digital Pedagogy. Helping someone to understand, to grasp, to learn something so that they can continue to build on that basis of knowledge, even after they leave you and the classroom far behind, is truly an art. For it is sometimes the variety of ways, the collaboration of their own experiences along with others around them (including the one at the ‘front’ of the classroom) that paints the new lens that they leave with. And each time it’s different, each individual is different, each andragogical opportunity (in our world of adult learning:) is different. So why not tap into that? For it is also the methods chosen that can make the experiences, for all involved, powerful or simply palatable. So why then, do we not look more often to the WWW?
As Morris continues in his post, the world of the LMS began (and still in some ways remains) in a ‘teaching’ world. The purpose, at least from my perspective when thinking of the business world and its need for an LMS for employees, is to more or less present the material and then check the box ‘complete’. It is seldom that true awareness has been created, or that real learning has occurred. This, in a sense, is my separation of teaching and learning.
But it is the pairing of words, digital and pedagogy, that has sent my mind headed in another direction in thinking about methods that we use for our learners. The endless possibilities that we have to collaborate, reflect, construct, and connect. In a class of many we can learn from the instructor as well as one another…and perhaps even from our own selves. We can utilize tools that allow this to happen in class, outside of class and perhaps even beyond class. Perhaps the reason behind the idea of a hybrid style of learning? A self-run PowerPoint with voice over isn’t enough to provide a building of schema, we must provide the learner with opportunities to take those bullets on the slide and do something. Have them think about it, apply it, discuss it, align it with their own ideas and experiences and decide what it means to them. Don’t just ask them to listen to your ramblings, especially if they are ‘listening’ as they continue to work on something else or, better yet, with the sound off until it’s over. Give them tools, perhaps digital tools or some sort of combination, and start a discussion(s) that helps them learn it.
“Digital pedagogy demands that we rethink power relations between students and teachers — demands we create more collaborative and less hierarchical institutions for learning” (Jesse Stommel, Decoding Digital Pedagogy)
So go on. Build yourself a PLN. Go explore the web and all of its free resources. Then, go teach something. Or better yet, help someone collaboratively learn something new that creates an awareness that leaves them motivated to know more.