MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

Paying attention

David Behrman of Behrman House Publishing recently blogged about technology and the new presenter-audience or teacher-student dynamic. This is something I’ve noticed too, but since I generally present about, well, technology, I guess I didn’t find it that surprising.

We’re talking about the reality that your audience, and perhaps your students, aren’t just sitting and listening to you any more. And, if they’re taking notes on their laptops, they may be checking email, surfing the web (we hope they’re looking at the sites about which you’re teaching, but who knows?) or multitasking at the same time. David reflects a bit on how disconcerting this can be for a presenter.

As a teacher, I don’t allow cell phones in class. Nor do my religious school students have laptops, so this is a model with which I don’t relate. In my computer lab, when I’m doing a demo, I expressly tell my students (and if you had me as a teacher, you’ve heard this thousands of times)… “hands off the keyboard, hands off the mouse, eyes on me, it’s all about me.”

You need to say that in a sing-song voice, with appropriate hand gestures.

So, David’s post gave me pause. Here I am, a tech teacher, and I should WANT my kids with their hands on technology. But I’m also a teacher, and giving up that control is a hard thing to do. As any good teacher knows, it’s when things get loosy-goosy that it gets scary.

So where’s the happy medium? And which medium is that? Twitter? Facebook? Student-created wikis? Blogging?

And how do we train teachers to go with the flow while still delivering content?

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November 24, 2009 - Posted by | Technology | , ,

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