Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Today I had to teach the old-time way, and it was a refreshing pleasure. The Internet at my school was down, so I was forced to do what teachers have been doing for millennia: I simply sat face-to-face with the students and shared thoughts with them. Instead of walking around the room while the students stared at various aspects of the lesson projected on the screen, I pulled my chair close in a circle with the students and we just spoke to each other for a full 30 or 40 minutes. There were no gadgets, widgets, thingamabobs, or doohickeys – just young-at-heart learners learning, again, how to look at and listen to each other. It was a powerful lesson, for me, about the force and magnificence of simple, sincere conversation. It didn’t make me want to turn away from using technology in the classroom, but it did forewarn me against forgetting about what should be the centerpiece of any classroom – a teacher and students sharing ideas. Computers and projectors and screens are machines; teachers and students are works of wisdom and passion. Tomorrow I will use the machines, when it’s beneficial, but the students and this fortunate teacher will stay center-stage, speaking and listening and learning as one.

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