Wednesday, April 18, 2007

History of teaching


My story today is about the symposium yesterday at SJSU about the past, present and future of teaching. It was actually a lot more interesting than it sounds, especially the part about technology changing the classroom. The best quote:

"If we really look at our 150 years, for 140 of them, things didn't change and the students didn't change," said Stephen Kay, an assistant professor in the educational leadership department. "But now in the last decade, we've seen some major changes with the things that are going on with our students."
He is right. Kay also said that the reason that teaching needs to catch up with technology changes is not because it improves education or teaching, it is because the students are using technology whether or not the teachers are. The students, he said, expect their teachers to be on top of things. Right now, they are failing.
"Rip Van Winkle, if he woke up today and he went out and surveyed the world, he would see some amazing things… ," Kay said, mentioning iPods, pacemakers and hand-held devices. "If he walked into my classroom, what would he say? 'Blackboard! Been there, done that, understand. I'll sit right here and be happy.' "
Unfortunately, it is true at all levels of our educational system, from kindergarten to the university.

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