Activity 17: The role of abundance
Read Weller (2011), A pedagogy of abundance. In the conclusion two questions are posed: ‘The issue for educators is twofold I would suggest: firstly how can they best take advantage of abundance in their own teaching practice, and secondly how do we best equip learners to make use of it?’ This article discusses the different phases of new teaching methods or practices and explores the implementation of such practices including the phases of introduction which include: Discover, Integration, Application and Teaching. Anyone working in a learning environment would be familiar with these and they are processes my institute has been through during several introductions from iTunes U, Moodle, paperless classrooms and 1:1 iPad learning. The questions posed are how can they best take advantage of abundance in their own teaching practice, and secondly how do we best equip learners to make use of it? For teachers to understand they can best take advantage of abundance in their own teaching practice they have to first be shown how. This can be done a number of ways. You can preach to them and tell them it is good, tell them it will make things easier, show them statistics or you can show them teachers just like them who are best using these new practices. These would be tried and tested examples and should be of relevant subject matters to the teachers. For example english teachers may be more motivated towards using iPads in a 1:1 environment after watching this video of New York based educators Larry Reiff who uses the iPad to teach Shakespeare https://www.apple.com/education/ipad/teach-with-ipad/classroom/romeo-and-juliet/ The second question is how best do we equip learners to make use of it? The only answer is training. The number one failure for implementing a new technology in education is lack of training. Hand a teacher an iPad or ask them to create a MOOC and they will probably agree before realising they don’t have the skills to do this. Some teachers may take the challenge but many will back away and do something else leaving the technology type or idea to gather dust. When introducing iTunes U into our college 4 years ago we kept hearing the excuse “I get paid to teach not to do this’ and it’s the truth educators lives and students lives are so busy that sometimes you have to just stick to your job description and do what you are paid to do. This all comes back to the first question if you show them how it can be done and how they can benefit in the long run then this might be a game changer. For example telling a teacher they have to post all their notes online and create a MOOC may face some resistance. However, tell them they will save 3-4 hours per week by not having to print, photo-copy and stable and this might be all they need to hear.