Bob Reynolds recalls a bike race as he plans a workshop on online learning for educators. This is an important point. After reading the blurb here, I realized that nowhere was there any reference to pedagogy or learning theory. So what is the basis for making this switch from “1-way teaching” to “2-way teaching”? Moreover, 2 of the symposium speakers on Saturday frequently repeated their conviction that the most important factor in successful school reform is the vision, the mission statement of the school.
Now, imagine my surprise at the end of the race when they gave me my time splits and I discovered that, with my sleek racing machine, I had actually finished the bike portion of the race at a slower place that the previous year when I had been riding my old Huffy. In fact, from the time I bought my new bike, I had consistently ridden slower. It was lighter, easier to ride, and definitely more streamlined. And, for some reason, I didn’t race as fast using it.
As my colleagues and I shared ideas and talked about technological solutions for our concept, I found myself musing privately that our success was not nearly as dependent on the technology as it was on the philosophy, vision, and narrative of the project. In other words, “It’s the legs that do the work.”
our temptation is to become preoccupied with LMS platforms, media decisions, and newfangled ways to get students to talk to each other. The truth is that none of these things matter at all without a clear course vision, sound pedagogy, and a great content story. If you have those things, they will play in any learning theater regardless of the technology available.