Monday, September 10, 2007

Konrad Glogowski - Classrooms as Third Places

Just listened to a recording of an Elluminate session led by Konrad Glogowski in which he talks about classrooms being third places - home is the first place and work is the second place. My first comment is how much I have enjoyed having the flexibility to listen to a 'lecture' that actually happened some time ago. In my teaching environment, there is a great deal of pressure on students to ensure they attend lectures: this can be problematic when they have so many other pressures on their time such as picking kids up from school, attending pregnant women and so on. There is also a lot of pressure on lecturers to be 100% fit and well - if we go sick, who will give our seminars/lectures. The idea of recording a session so that it can be accessed any time or place is extremely appealing on both counts.

My second comment is: how do I respond to Konrad's challenge particularly in making the learning environment 'learner-centered' and move away from the more traditional teacher role. I love that whole concept, especially with adult learners who come to 'class' with their own huge amount of experience and knowledge which they can pass on to each other and me. However, I have found that that mind set is not only challenging to me as the 'teacher' but also to the student - they expect to sit in class and receive material and be told what to do. When they are challenged to take responsibility for their learning, which I think this environment encourages, they can find that very difficult. I guess that is why it is so important to set the scene so well, which is what Konrad postulates.


Carolyn said...

I think providing a clear structure with good support and guidance is a crucial element if we are expecting students to take responsibility for their own learning.

Carolyn said...

I also think there might be some advantagein the online envoironment in allowing students to come to the fore. I think the teachers physical presence can sometimes stifle that. In an online evironment you can be there, but not be so visible. This might encouorage students to share more with each other and allow the lecturer to truly be a facilitator who can point resources which might be useful to the students or bring them back to the point when they are going astray but otherwise be in the background more. Do you agree?

Sarah Stewart said...

Yes, I do agree. One of the advantages of computer-mediated-communication is that it can break down constraints that would otherwise impede communication: eg notions of physical appearance, age and gender that may cause pre-judgment are broken down. What interests me, does the quality/essence of online interaction differ if it is part of an assessment?