05 October 2013

Gradually, Then Suddenly: How Tech has Changed Teaching in Higher Ed - Brian Kibby

Some students stop paying attention in 4th grade. If that happens, we often lose them for life. That doesn't mean they are going to be a degenerate, that means they likely won't reach their full potential. Welcome to the Army Private Kibby!

So why do SOME faculty do great things with technology and others don't? (Holy Crap! Did these people know that I was coming to this conference? This is tailor made for me!!) So Brian initially starts talking about "coming from a place of 'Yes" vs. coming from a place of 'No'." Sounds a lot like tribal leadership to me! He continues to discuss Positional Authority. Not cool. Stop doing it.

He shares a personal story about a teacher who is intimidated by the idea of a bunch of independent learners (using technology) basically putting teachers out of a job. How many of us have felt intimidated by that idea? It's not that we are going to be out of job. It is that we are going to have to change the way we teach. We need to embrace those (adaptive) technologies and move students to a deeper level of learning. We shift from a "save the people who are naturals at our subject" to "everyone is able to learn more than what they already know." Show advances in learning for everyone.

So how do we do this?

  1. Start by saying "Yes" instead of always saying "No." 
  2. Find a buddy. Someone who will help you with new things you want to learn. (We were doing this at Putnam City like 5 years ago! Nice validation of personal methods!) 
  3. Are you market-driven? If not, you should be. The market of education is changing. If you don't adapt, you won't stay relevant. Nor will you be preparing students to be relevant. 
  4. Just because you try something once, don't discount it. Check with your buddy. How can you adapt? 
The crux of the matter is to "try stuff." Brian says within 24 months we will be all digital (or should be).

Comment from the audience - Don't just use a buddy. As an admin, consider how to integrate a "technology boot camp" and provide some $$ for that. This could (has in other places) turn into something MUCH bigger than working with your own faculty.

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