edtech podcast #5: are we teaching or training?

Inspired by last week’s learning design community meeting Brian & I debate the quality of online learning. Can we create online experiences that equal face-to-face classroom experiences? Is online learning being used as an economic cop-out? How much of learning in either realm is training and how much is actually teaching?

edtech podcast #5: are we teaching or training?

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    • dave
    • April 10th, 2011

    Do you think before they get here that high school students are learning what they need to know to be a college student? Whether it’s training or learning, are they equipped? And then is Penn State getting them to the place they need to be before they leave degree in hand? I know what my answers would be. We still have discussions about what works. We have discussions about what “working” actually is. How many academics can teach on the head of a pin?

    I had trouble with this show, guy; which is a good thing. I listened completely twice and scrubbed through a few questions and answers individually. I think I bring way too much baggage to the conversation.

    “That model of having to learn the facts as a prerequisite to move on to the next one.. does it really hold? and should we do it?” How else would we test? How else would we conduct the same class to so many students year after year? How else could we justify charging money for what we do? To become an adult and be welcome in society you need to know these things… that does seem to be the implication. And I’d add, the expectation of many students, employers and parents.

    Personally, I don’t think a drill, like a math drill, is a natural way to learn. I’d say that a more natural way to learn is to use trial and error in new situations and repeat what rewards us best. But do we have time for that? Our brains have evolved beyond learning to put a stick in a hole to withdraw termites- as intelligent as that behavior is. We need to condense years of experience, some of it potentially dangerous or detrimental, into a very short time. New humans have a relatively long period to learn to be adults before we let them assume that role, but there’s a relatively large amount of complex information to know to fit into this society. Do the people leaving Penn State, degree in hand, justify the existence of our jobs? At the price we charge?

    Whew. Sorry.

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