Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Hi Ali!
Thanks for inviting me to your blog - I promise not to write all over it!
Looks like the Dreamy Minstrel is really getting into this blogging and discovering other e-Learning blogs too!
Keep enjoying your wanderings around Blogland!
ABB

Monday, March 24, 2003

Reflections of a reading: Yesterday I read a great article on the virtual classroom. If was titled 'An in depth interview with the classroom' and was found at: www.masie.com/masie/default.cfm?trends=296&page=trendsdisplay. It was presented in an interview format which made it alot easier and enjoyable to read. The two speakers were the Elliot Masie (interviewer) and the classroom (interviewee).
The article explained the import role that the classroom still has in education despite the developments with the virtual classroom. The classroom in the article gave three points that stuck out distinctly in my mind.

1. E-learning and the classroom are not in competition. They both serve the purpose of helping the learning process, so are both directed at the same goal. It (the classroom) called it 'blended learning'. Using both teaching mediums together to assist the student and teacher. This reminded me of complementary therapies and how it is becoming more accepted for western and alternative/natural therapies to work together to help the patient. It is a similar idea and one that makes sense to me.

2. The classroom excells when physical and interpersonal skills are being taught. We are human beings, we can't be taught physical skills without 'hands on' interaction. Neither can we be taught interpersonal and social skills to their full capacity when we aren't around other people. This also raises the topic of social interaction. Without the classroom and face to face teaching and interaction with other learners, there is minimum interaction. We are social beings and need this to be happy and learn effectively. This is not to say that we can't learn via distance, but perhaps we are given a greater advantage to learn when interaction occurs.

3. The classroom needs to be updated. Now that we know that the classroom is always going to play an important role in education, we should focus on ways to enhance the classroom, not think that it has reached its potential. The article emphasised that this did not mean get new OHP's, but other technologies to enhance interactivity. Another point in this section was to invest more timeand effort into trainer skills. An effective teacher is what makes a classroom really shine.

It was a great article and I think I enjoyed it so much because it was dramatic and over the top. Rather than stuffy, serious, facts and figures, the article got it's point across in a much more effective way. The end statement was great. When asked what it wants people to think of when someone says its name, the classroom says:

Think of the best teachers you had growing up, think of the most wonderful group projects you ever worked on, think of meetings where a lot was accomplished and think of the joy of being able to concentrate on a topic, away from the noise and buzz of the workplace.
Think of us, the classrooms, as a space where great teaching and learning can take place. Reinvent us, reformat us, blend us and make us part of the magic of learning!

Never had I seen the classroom in a such a way!