From the outset of this book, I have tried to take my time and imagine myself as an experienced teacher working in 1995. How would I have tried to experience the innovative technology of the time and incorporate it in my classes in a meaningful way? Would I have clung to the idea that I was a sage on a stage, or would I have relinquished some of the control gracefully for a more student-centered approach to my lessons?
“Use the things you know and use them well.” stated Clare Thomson in Between the Chapters episode 3. To paraphrase, if you try to use technology that you are not confident with, the students will notice that, and it will not turn out as successfully as you had hoped. These ideas resonated with me during this time of crisis learning. Moving from face-to-face lessons to online learning and then finally to hybrid learning, I have realized that I need to take it slow. Slowly introduce new websites or tools a little at a time and take away the ones that do not work so well. Although this seems like stating the obvious and common sense, I appreciated what Weller said about feeling pressure to use all the new shiny technology.
Looking back on the things that were successful and not successful before the pandemic and after, has helped me understand collaborative learning better and also that teaching is not about content delivery. Weller’s retrospection took me back even further to realize that we can move forward more successfully when we understand the past. Many of the questions we asked back then are still being asked today. Perhaps they may never be answered and that might be ok.
In chapter 4 and in Between the Chapters, critical theory and constructivism are discussed. Jessie Stommel talks about “a strand that runs through the whole book” and a failure to acknowledge the exceedingly long history of Educational Technology and its complicated history and that we never look back enough. Strommel proclaims that we do not have to have “original ideas and give them names and be white dudes and put a capital C [constructivism] in front of them to make them real.” He goes on to say that there is not such a thing as an original thought and that all the thoughts he has had have been borrowed and influenced by others. This gave me inspiration and confidence to soak up all I can and share it with as many as I can. He adds, “Our practices need to line up with our ethos” (Jessie Strommel).
Will we one day not differentiate between distance learning and traditional learning? Will technology become so embedded in everyday life that we will not look at it as online learning? Will everything be hybrid? Will synchronous or asynchronous be an irrelevant distinction?
25 Years of Ed Tech: The Serialized Audio Version. (2021). https://25years.opened.ca/.