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Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Learning Technologies Podcast – August 30- Do We Need a GPS to Find Our Classrooms?

Learning Technologies Podcast – August 30- Do We Need a GPS to Find Our Classrooms?



Podcast Transcript:

Welcome to the Learning Technologies Podcast. Today’s topic is … Do We Need a GPS to Find Our Classrooms? This question emerged when I visited an EdTech discussion board hosting a discussion on the value of face-to-face training over eLearning, blended learning, and other types of training. The consensus seemed to be that there is room for training in F2F classrooms. These face-to-face classrooms were labeled as “controlled learning environments.”  I parked on the label of “controlled learning environments. Hmmm… I wonder, “are there really learning scenarios, outside of university research labs, that can accurately be classified as “controlled learning environments” and if so, do we really want these? Do we want learning to be controlled, or, in the spirit of socio-cultural learning, do we want another outcome? Also, can we expand the definition of classrooms to extend beyond four plastered and/or windowed walls?

Thank you for considering these questions with me. I enjoy learning from you! Please leave a comment and let’s keep the discussion going.


(This podcast Created using Audacity) 
Additional Resources from Edublogs



6 Responses to Learning Technologies Podcast – August 30- Do We Need a GPS to Find Our Classrooms?

  1. Jennifer Frazier says:

    My degrees are in social work so F2F learning is really where the heart of the profession comes alive. As a professor of Social Work I’ve incorporated elearning modalities such as discussion board to tests the effects. Time and time again; I’ve found this avenue has been effective for some learners, but others (majority) simply engage better and appear to learn more in F2F learning. This was the consensus from my traditional student learners as well as my blended classes ranging from individuals from all background returning to obtain their graduate degrees. I believe there is a place for all avenues of learning, but I believe like all learning, we must supplement to meet the learning needs of a diverse student body.

  2. Gayle Clement says:

    I don’t believe you can or should strive for “controlled learning environments. Education is an art as well as a science. Flexibility is needed to address the unique needs and backgrounds of every student. Highly structured leaning environments can’t begin to address the needs of each student and are a recipe for burnout for teachers.

  3. Ron Ward says:

    In the past 15 years, I’ve worked in for a noncredit edtech training company, monitoring and marketing over 300 courses in a broad range of categories. During this time, I also earned my graduate degree in an f2f environment.
    I think f2f is most appropriate in disciplines and subjects where rapid exchange of ideas, questions, and opinions is beneficial.Also, f2f is useful in environments where the human senses augment learning. Some examples of disciplines and subject areas are Psychology, Ethics, Management, and Sociology.
    Edtech is very thorough and efficient in subjects that are “how to” or serial in the teaching process. Examples are math, computer applications, statistics, and programming. It is feasible to go back and review the steps sequentially to get “unstuck” in a process.
    I’ve found that Edtech is more structured than the traditional f2f classroom. I think the technology involved in Edthech is the reason for the less flexible approach. Nevertheless, it is critical to maintain a combination of structure and flexibility in both methodologies to foster the best learning outcomes possible.

  4. Joy says:

    I think, both are important. You see, humanity is wired differently. As some learners prefer the the freedom that comes with elearning, others need a contolled setting for them to ably concentrate. In my personal experience as a student, I understood better with a F2F learning because then it enabled me concentrate and interact more with my teacher, which inturn meant I would never forget the concepts I was taught. Also, it helps being in an environment with other students, which makes it easier to know your strengths and/or share challenges and form study groups, and also socialize with like-minded colleagues. However, for this to be effective there’s need to have smaller manageable classes lest the “backbenchers” lose concetration and start counting down to when it will end. On the other hand, other students are more used to privacy and tend to grasp better with “one-on-one” interactions, as I would call them. Elearning helps where a student listens and maybe rewinds the recording to fully comprehend a concept. The downside with this however, is it may be tricky seeking clarification from whoever is e-teaching. Or if any, there will be delayed response. It is also easy to be distracted. But if you have self-control and self-discipline then it shouldn’t be hard. It is also good for busy people because of the flexibility nature of e-learning.

    So, my opinion would be to determine which methods suits you best. This should not be because of convenience but because it’s what you need-remember you are paying for it so it better be worth it.

  5. Zach Mbasu says:

    I value other types of training but for now let me incline myself to F2F learning but not controlled learning environments. There is a concern about whether other forms of learning like e-learning support or hinders the quality and quantity of interaction between students and instructor; students and other students; as well as students and the course material. Sometimes students lack the opportunity to ask questions, engage in discussions or exchange non-verbal cues as well as gestural interaction with the instructor. Peer interaction could also have a relationship to student’s learning satisfaction, achievement and motivation. I believe in the spirit of socio-cultural learning however lots of opportunities should be provided for exchange of ideas and more discussions to create connectivity between students at various locations.

  6. Antha says:

    Ok, that word “controlled” classrooms got me a bit. I envisioned the old days, (like when I was in school), where we were all lined up in our desks, all working on the same thing, same level, no matter the ability, interests, etc. of the student. Sort of gave me shivers!!! As a student, I was thankful for the few teachers who allowed me to go beyond, and work on different materials/projects. It is an interesting question to ask about additional training in the F2F classroom. In my small school, the teachers already use many tools, activities, and are very creative in their classroom setups to make a learning environment that encourages all students to grow. They build relationships with their students, and work to engage them through their interests. There is the “set” level of grade level expectations/standards, but a discussion we had recently on our standards based grading was that many students go beyond these, how do we keep them challenged, and how do we help those who struggle, (and then, of course, there is the middle ground). I definitely think that the classrooms are expanding beyond the four walls as more embrace apps, social media, etc. to share with parents, community, and other classrooms. I agree with one of your commenters that to me, many of my online courses were more controlled than F2F. (Of course, there is the question of whether my interpretation of controlled is the same as yours.)

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