Earlier this week I read and shared a post on the Inside Higher Ed website: Online Learning Shouldn’t Be ‘Less Than’ and tweeted this:
WRONG!!! “They made it an online class because the teacher will be too busy to teach it.” Good grief, do people (aka. universities) still believe this is what online learning is? https://t.co/NaMnOtySkM
— David Hopkins (@hopkinsdavid) April 5, 2018
The post was about the perception, for some, that online teaching was easier and somehow lesser, therefore easier, option than classroom-based teaching. Online is different, yes. Online requires a different set of skills to make it as engaging for the students, yes. Online can be more rewarding for both teacher and student, yes, for some. Online should replace classroom teaching, no.
Later I saw the same post was also shared by someone in my LinkedIn network with the associated text:
“Teachers – buy your digital champions a coffee and see how they can help you with online/blended delivery. I bet their eyes will widen with excitement! (I know mine would)“
This isn’t wrong, so I’m not criticising anyone here, but I disagree in that we should not limit ourselves to those already known to us as ‘digital champions’. The sentiment is spot on, I would rather have a far wider reaching approach, taking all contacts in to account, especially looking beyond My reply was:
“Better still, take some time and talk to someone you don’t know very well and find out something new about them. You may just find that they are also a ‘digital champion’ in an area you didn’t even know about. Your network will surprise you, in a good way!“
Let’s face it, everyone is unknown until we find out about them. Think back to all those who are currently in your network, either in your office, department, institution, Twitter, etc. I bet you didn’t know anything about them or how important they would be to your own development until you talked to them? Yes, we have to remember to keep our networks carefully maintained and continue to grow them, you never know when you find your next EdTech leader to follow and work with! You never know when they will find you and think the same about you!
PS. I prefer tea, don’t drink coffee, and a cake is a deal-breaker for me. You know, just in case we meet and you want a chat! [smile]