Reflecting on practice

I have recently been asked a series of questions about my work as an online education consultant.

  • Tell me how and why you use technology in your teaching.
  • How do you ensure that learners engage with the technology?
  • How has your role changed as a result of working with technology?
  • How has your daily routine changed?
  • How do you encourage students to collaborate online?
  • What difficulties do you have and how do you avoid them happening?

I have started to think about these questions and thought I would write a post in response to each one to help me clarify my thinking. I have now been teaching online for eight years – just a snip compared to some people’s experience, but long enough for some of my ways of working to become implicit. I think it’s helpful once in a while to make our implicit ways of working explicit both for ourselves and for others. As teachers, it can prevent us from making assumptions – a problem that was highlighted all those years ago by Stephen Brookfield.

Brookfield S D (1995) The Getting of Wisdom. What Critically Reflective Teaching is and Why It’s Important. http://www.nl.edu/academics/cas/ace/facultypapers/StephenBrookfield_Wisdom.cfm

For me its also helpful to write down my thinking – to recognise the importance of what John Mason calls Noticing – Marking – Recording, in his wonderful book Researching Your Own Practice – The Discipline of Noticing. He claims that by noticing, marking and recording, we develop our sensitivies so that we are more aware of incidents, issues and our resulting actions.

So I’ll start thinking about the first question – Tell me how and why you use technology in your teaching- and come back to it in my next post. It looks straightforward, doesn’t it, but I suspect that it might not be that straightforward.

6 thoughts on “Reflecting on practice

  1. ailsa May 25, 2009 / 7:38 am

    ahhh; its questions like these that launched me into a PhD 🙂
    I fear my answers would be too big, they consume me!

  2. jennymackness May 25, 2009 / 5:15 pm

    Hi Ailsa – thanks for your visit. I am being given half and hour to answer these questions! I knew it wasn’t enough! Jenny

  3. Sui Fai John Mak May 26, 2009 / 2:49 am

    Quite a challenge! Jenny, and stimulating.
    I like to respond to those questions you mentioned, may be in another space…. for there are basic ones like why those interviewers would like to know those questions which would be surely different for different people.
    I like to quote one of the questions in Stephen Brookfield’s paper: Are customers always right?
    May I rephrase it as:
    Are educators always right?
    Are learners always right?
    In our society, do business like educators to teach: customers are always right?
    John Still thinking.

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