Tuesday, 8 June 2010

H800: Week 17 – Activity 1a – What kind of vision for students?

Watching the Mike Wesch video – "A Vision of Students Today" (again)

Having watched this video several times I now feel quite familiar with it. I posted my overall impressions on the video on my blog on 12th May.

Message from the first minute:
The message to me is that the traditional lecture, in a lecture theatre, was a system of teaching which came to the fore in the nineteenth century and has remained there since then. The scribbles on the walls and chairs imply that lectures do not fulfil their intended purpose, and probably haven't done so for many years. Lecture theatres tend to promote a didactic form of teaching in which students are talked at, and are often not actively involved in the learning process.

Message from the middle section:
The students holding up the statements indicate that, in an age when information is so freely available, the lecture is even less relevant. In the past perhaps the lecture was an efficient way of conveying information to a large group of people at one time, but as a means of communicating it is far less significant today. I can well believe the statistics presented. Students are less inclined to read set texts today, and it is incredibly difficult to maintain their attention in a lecture. The main message I take from the sequence is that, unless the lecture is really well designed with lots of opportunities for student engagement, then there are far more effective ways of communicating information and promoting student understanding.

Message from the conclusion:
The implication seems to be that, since students appear to embrace technology (Facebooking through classes, and using the laptop for things other than the lecture) then why not try to harness these technologies to promote studying.
I was slightly confused by Mike Wesch's section at the end. He indicates that the by using a chalkboard we are missing out on photos, videos, animations etc, but then he also indicates that writing on the chalkboard forces (then challenges) a teacher to move. I'm not sure what point he is trying to make here. Firstly, is he actually defending the use of the chalkboard (surely not?), and secondly, who actually uses a chalkboard these days? In my university we don't even have them anymore.

1 comment:

  1. Chalkboards would be only slightly surprising in Russian universities and still the norm in schools.
    I'm sure Wesch's methodology would not allow him to just put up opinions of his own: I think he's doing a brainstorm with the students and dividing comments into two categories: what you have with CMC, and what you have with a board, there isn't any position defended here.