Image adapted from this source.
In this episode John and Mariana take a new path for the Loose Learners show. We wanted to find find a theme that would enable us to engage in critical reflection about our own teaching practice and compare and contrast our two classrooms as a vehicle to inquire into the same question that has driven this show to date: Is technology good or bad for education? Yes. We are widening our core question to include technology as a whole and not just the internet, as we want to give ourselves a larger brief to explore.
This first show with the new format seeks to introduce our million listeners to the classrooms the two of us operate in. John in a primary school within a physical setting, Mariana in a virtual classroom within higher education.
We spend a little time setting the scene in conversation, and are already struck by the potential for dialogue offered by our contrasting settings. We speak to the gratitude we feel to be in settings where we have small numbers of students, where we can provide continuity of presence in their education, and can dedicate time for what Mike Wesch defines as soul learning with our students. We speak about how we may be at time in our career where we value teaching the whole person more than we value flashy presentation and lecture masterclasses on our areas of expertise.
Unsurprisingly, given our love for all things technology, we spend some time inquiring into how for Mariana’s virtual setting, technology seems to enable dedicated one to one time that is harder to create in physical classroom setting. This is, of course, supported by the gift of few students and a capacity to act as our own learning technologists as well as teach content from our respective fields. We spend some time exploring the challenges of those who may not have the gift of a love for technology or the expertise and those who are, to some extent, being coerced by educational institutions to work online more and more.
So, when you listen to this episode of the show, you will find informal conversation and a description of our two classroom settings. We plan to revisit this theme of ‘tales of two classrooms’ in future shows bringing to the show 1 salient element from each of our classrooms to dialogue about, compare and contrast, and generally interrogate together. And yes, more likely than not, our dialogue will circle around the educational use of technology.
We are back on March 6th at 8pm UK time as usual.
Do let us know in the comments if this new direction feels interesting/useful or not. Our motivation is to learn from each other’s practice in conversation, as we get little time to explore our work with others in our own institutions.