Week 2 (Jan 19-25) ~ Theory

Technology is potentially a part of all teaching and learning environments, and is not unique to blended or online learning. Teachers in traditional face-to-face classrooms typically have a choice about the types of technologies, if any, that they use to support learning. The point is that no matter what type of teaching environment you find yourself in, you should be thinking about a philosophy of practice that includes the pedagogical aspects of using technology and how the technologies you choose fit with your personal philosophy. Your philosophy will include the types of technology tools you can use, and more importantly, the reasons for wanting to use those tools, as well as instructional design that supports learning with technology. Practices that you use in your face-to-face classroom will often apply online, and vice versa. More and more, teachers take practices from the online education world and apply them in their face-to-face classes.

Your philosophy of teaching is a conceptual framework that includes the aspects of your teaching that you think are most valuable in guiding your students’ learning.  Modern learning environments dictate that your philosophy includes a consideration of technology and how it can impact learning. The largest component of your philosophy should be a reflection about why you would want to use technology to help your students learn, rather than what you can do with technology. Technology is only one of many learning tools, so you need to figure out why you and your students would want to use it, and ultimately, if there are any benefits to doing so.

Chapter 4 (download pdf) by Heather Kanuka of the eBook The Theory and Practice of Online Learning is an interesting exploration of many traditional teaching philosophies, and how technology might have a role in each.

If you can be replaced by a computer then you probably should be! The truth is that technology will never replace teachers, however teachers who know how to use technology effectively to help their students connect and collaborate together online will replace those who do not.

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Selected Readings

Stacey, E., & Wiesenberg, F. (2007). A study of face-to-face and online teaching philosophies in Canada and Australia. Journal of Distance Education, 22 (1), 19-40.

Downes, S. (2005, July 1). Are the basics of instructional design changing? Message posted to http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=6


Nussbaum-Beach, S. (2008, June 2). Letter to my colleagues. Message posted to http://www.21stcenturycollaborative.com/2008/06/letter-to-my-colleagues

1 Response to Week 2 (Jan 19-25) ~ Theory

  1. skoch says:

    I feel badly but it took me about 3 hours to figure out how to attach my philosophy viewpoint of on-line teaching.
    Getting closer to being caught up.

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