Sunday, March 2, 2008
The Hiking Metaphor
My posts are always inconsistent. I've been so busy this semester that I haven't had time to put together coherent thoughts much longer than my 140-character Twitter posts. But, I was recently inspired by a grad student who marveled at the transition from teachers telling students what they need to know to students taking more of the responsibility and rewards of their learning. The following is my response. It's posted here so I don't forget the vision. We're all on this trail together. Some of us are just up ahead paving the way for the others.
I have really changed my view of teaching and learning through this educational technology journey. I see all of us, teachers and students, as co-learners navigating a complex terrain with lots of side trails and potential dead ends. The only difference between us and the children is that we are the guides. We've seen parts of this trail before. We have enough experience to recognize some of the dead ends, even though we haven't been to that exact spot on past hikes. If we get lost, it's ok to tell our group and ask for ideas that will help all of us find our way back on the "right" track. For this trip, every hiker is important. Every hiker must contribute, and every hiker is responsible for getting us to our destination. Once we get there, we all celebrate our collective success!