The assignment for this week was read the post by Morgan Bayda and watch a video by Dan Brown. I think they are in agreement that universities are arcaic in the way they share information. Dan Brown believes that the university is interferring with his education so he dropped out of school. As I type that, I think to myself what is he hoping to accomplish by dropping out of school. I understand he wants to make a statement. He has a point and I hear that. However, I don't think that in today's competitive job market, dropping out of school was the right thing to do. I may be wrong. I admit I have been wrong before. I just think that may be shoting your own self in the foot to make a point. Anyway...
Back to their point. Morgan says she feels like she has been cheated when she has to buy exspensive books for a class that is too long and too boring. The teacher doesn't know her name and she doesn't really learn anything. Amen to that. I just had that same experience in my Biology 101 class. I won't name names but it was a drag. I have to admit that science is not my thing. The professor already had that strike against her. However, my class had over 100 students enrolled in it. It was 1 hour 15 minutes long. The professor read from a slide show presentation. It was soooo boring. She never knew my name and I can't really remember hers. I don't remember a thing from that class and I made a B in it. Thank goodness for that $200 book because I taught myself enough information to pass the class. I totally get that this type of learning environment is junk and needs to be revamped. I never want to take another class like that one again.
On the other hand, I had a class in that same semester with about 30 students. My teacher loved the material she taught and it showed all over her face. She knew my name and called on me regularly. She encouraged class participation - it was part of our grade. I remember so much from this class. Most of this information I pass along to the middle school students I have in Library. I love reading and this was a literature class. My teacher already had that going for her. However, she made Moby Dick fun and that is a tough thing to do. She couldn't operate a DVD for anything. She confessed to being technologically challenged. She didn't use powerpoints or the internet. She just loved what she taught. She made me love it too. I wish I could have her teach all my classes. I told her so in a email at the end of the year. That is the kind of teacher I want to be.
I don't think it is in the tools, although I agree they help. I think it is in the passion the teacher possess's for teaching. Dr. Strange has a passion for technology. He wants to stir that up in his students. Is it working? I think so. Is it a challenge for him? I know so. The point is he wants to make a difference in the way students learn. That is what teaching is about.
Now how do you get that for every student entering college at every university across the world. I don't have that answer. Maybe it is in reshaping the classroom. But I don't think great teaching goes out of style. That is something you either how or you don't. You can have all the fancy tools in the world and still stink it up in front of the students.
I hope Dan Brown finds a teacher like Mrs. Conrad in his quest for learning. Maybe he can find that on-line. I have come across some passionate teachers in various assignments given by Dr. Strange. I certainly believe that change is coming for the classroom. I hope that change doesn't knock Mrs. Conrad right out because she can't operate a DVD. That would be a waste.