Print

Print


A contribution from HEPROC-L              ---Guillermo
 
 
Hello,
 
Carl invited Brent Wilson and myself to participate in
discussions on this list in response to various postings he
made regarding our AERA presentation, "From Local to Virtual
Learning Environments".  Of course, we are delighted to be a
part of this discussion.
 
By way of brief intro...
 
My name is Martin Ryder.  I make my living as a development
engineer for a computer manufacturer, supporting a software
engineering group with systems integration (hardware and
operating system) responsibilities.  But the larger part of
my career has been in Education.  In the early '70s I taught
high-school history.  By the late '70s I found myself
teaching teachers about computers.  Technology has pretty
much defined my career since then.  I left Education in the
mid '80s, but not completely.
 
The changes enfolding today in Education today are
fascinating to me, and I can't seem to keep my nose out of
that arena.  The power of the Internet to bring active
learners into contact with information, resources and
co-learners is bound to change our traditional concepts
about teaching and learning.  I want to be part of the
action!  A familiarity with both Education and Technology
seems to lend itself to such involvement.
 
This leads me smoothly into Tim Moore's question:
 
> Subject: Conference Questions (fwd)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: 18 Apr 95 09:30:01 EDT
> From: Timothy P. Moore <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Conference Questions
>
> Tim Moore, Associate Director of Collis Center and Director
> of Student Activities at Dartmouth College, offers the
> following two questions for Martin and Brent:
>
> 1.  It seems that the champions of expanded Internet use
> to enhance learning are often people outside of faculty
> ranks. What can be done to motivate faculty to adjust their
> teaching methods in a way that utilizes what the Internet
> has to offer?
 
It is not surprising to see technophiles taking the lead in
this transition.  The risk for them is not high.  They have
already found their voice in this medium.  They can express
themselves with ease and with confidence.  No training
wheels necessary for them.  But for those who speak with
eloquence in traditional media, there is an obvious risk.
In the short run, these seasoned professionals must forsake
their own well-developed repertoire in order to learn new
ways of discovering, digesting and disseminating
information.  Who can blame them for their reticence!
 
Whether it is necessary for professional educators to
forsake their well-tuned methods of teaching is a debatable
question.  Constructivist educators (those who cultivate
student-centered environments) are more likely to make the
transition without great injury to the ego.  They can allow
themselves to become co-learners as they encounter the
Internet along side their students.  But the teachers who
see themselves as the "source of knowledge" in the classroom
are less enclined to adopt change.  These stars of the
lecturn are likely to be the casualties of the information
revolution.
 
> 2.  One of the signifcant challenges in education is the
> variety of learning styles students bring to campus.  From
> my observations, the Internet seems to suit a variety of
> different learning styles.  With further development, will
> the Internet be able to help educators handle the array
> of styles students bring? Is this an important reason for
> increasing the use of this new technology in classroom
> instruction?
 
I think you have made the point very well.  From synchronous
MOOs and MUDs, to asynchronous forums, to hypertext
representations, to multi-media displays, the Internet
affords greater variety of expression to a greater variety
of audiences than any other medium in our history.
 
Thanks for indulging Me :-)
 
Martin Ryder
[log in to unmask]
http://www.cudenver.edu/~mryder