Allay fears of technology resistant teachers

Monday, September 6th, 2010 | e-Learning pioneers

The e-pioneer is a ghostbuster.

Many people in Africa believe in ghosts – they can’t see them, but they fear them.

In her book “Laying Ghosts to Rest” Mamphela Ramphele tells about her childhood fear of ghosts and the technique of an old man in her hometown to get rid of them.  She writes:

“Whatever truth there was to the ghost stories that shaped my childhood, one thing stood out: ghosts could be laid to rest by calling them by name.”

The realm of e-learning is riddled with ghosts – those invisible, intangible, sometimes unrealistic fears haunting teachers – preventing them to use technology for the benefit of learners.  Think about a few of these ghosts:

What if learners outshine me in the use of technology?

What if I do not have an aptitude for technology?

What if technology takes over my job as teacher?

E-pioneers must lay these ghosts to rest.  How?  The first step is to call them by name.  Many teachers never vocalise their fears.  They don’t say what is bothering them about the use of technology.  The fear is vague.  But when we identify and name the fear, we can discuss the matter and lay the matter to rest – the fear then evaporates like a ghost before a ghostbuster.

Click here for more food for thought for e-pioneers.

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1 Comment to Allay fears of technology resistant teachers

mark c
Monday, 6 September, 2010

On the three questions…

What if learners outshine me in the use of technology?
I think that this is bound to happen. One must be willing to learn from others. Also, it will be a confidence builder for the learner to participate in a lesson which otherwise s/he would not do. Learning should be dynamic.

What if I do not have an aptitude for technology?
Again, one must be willing to learn and become involved using technology. How did any person start to ride a bike or car? Not all of us are professional cyclists or perfect drivers, yet we are capable of getting by.

What if technology takes over my job as teacher?
There are many aspects that can be done by a computer, but not all of us can learn by only using technology. You need someone ‘on the other side’ to advise, guide and even explain. Humans still need the human touch.

What does not work is plonking someone in front of a computer expecting them to all become a brilliant learner. What does work is the use of technology in the teaching as well as learning methods. e.g. an educator going online to show a flash animation on how the mercury cell works or a learner using a spreadsheet to draw a graph on the boiling points of alkanes.

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