Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One Last Reflection

“Building Teaching Skills through the Interactive Web” is a course that calls for change. It would have been great if all of my colleagues had the chance to take such a course, but then for the sake of a wider dissemination, it is my duty now to “spread the benefit” whenever it is possible. If I were to tell any of my colleagues what I have learned during the course, I would start by sharing with them how lucky we are to have technological tools at our disposal and how far yet close we are from making proper use of them. It is true that we haven't been using these tools to their full extent, but doing so is not that difficult. It is very much a matter of training.

In that context, I would also share with them that underlying any change is one essential and preliminary fact about our role as teachers. We teachers should always go through a learning process; we need to train ourselves to be autonomous, risk takers, up to date, and most of all reflect on our experiences. It is a willful process that is the result of personal effort and outside assistance. It is useful and fun to be learners!! Obviously, our choices affect our students: if we equip ourselves not only with the "what" but also with the "how" and the "why", we could make their learning process run more smoothly, and we could provide them with better opportunities to stand on their own, work to improve their skills, take risks, and reflect on their effort. One such excellent opportunity that has a comprehensive range of benefits is integrating digital tools in their learning process. It is about time we face that challenge and give our students such an overdue chance.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Abdelnour,

    You're quite right that teachers need to be ready to take risks and keep learning. In some ways, every day we walk into the classroom, we're taking a risk: that students won't respond, that they'll be bored, that they'll be hostile to what we're trying to do with them. Some teachers will use the textbook as a way of not thinking about the risk and often ignoring students who are not motivated or blaming students for being bored. That's a real pity, since bored students are boring for the teacher - and the negative cycle continues.

    Learning something new and trying new things are what I think make teaching enjoyable. It's a risk, but the benefits can be much greater than just giving up and staying with the "tried and true" (and boring) textbook and lecture.

    Keep up the good work!