“Prove that technology works in education…”

At the post graduate induction Saturday, I have stood in front of the crowd of eager new starters and asked them what they thought I taught at university. I have been quite surprised by the suggestions of anything creative, such as art or performance since I consider myself the least creative person around! However, once I tell them that I teach mathematics and science with an interest in e-pedagogy and computing, they accept my own declared label of ‘geek’. It follows on quite fluidly therefore, that my own teaching strategies would reflect the use of technology…but do I have to prove that these strategies work in order to use them?

Personal planning style?

Personal planning style?

Throughout education, learners encounter a range of subjects, teachers and teaching styles. As long as the strategies used have an impact on progression of the learners then they could be recognised as acceptable. Each educator approaches teaching in a personal way. They adapted the well established learning theories and research to their own personal approach. This is what makes each ‘teacher’ different. This personal approach is also reflected in the learners themselves with each one reacting and benefiting from a range of different styles. When discussing with students about their work ethic for completing assignments they often relate how they find it easier to work in their room or in the library. Although I prefer to work on my research in the library and to write blog posts in the local coffee shop, I accept that they, as learners, have work ethics which differ from my own. In a similar way I remember at the end of a year in my year 5/6 class, a child’s final words to be were; “I’ve not enjoyed the way you teach Mr Wilson, but I have learnt a lot.”

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Ian Wilson

Currently working in higher education as a senior lecturer in education. I have a keen interest in e-pedagogy especially how technology and social media can be used to support teaching and learning.

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