We are facing an educational landscape which is about to be formed by student demand.--Clay Shirky, Keynote Address, Blackboard World 13
“Boy, did we make a mistake. We did not listen to our students,” Howard, a Stats professor at a local university told me. “We thought our Blended Learning and online courses were popular because of the use of technology, but our surveys did not reflect this idea. We assumed that students of online courses were commuters who were working from home. When we checked the login times and places of these students, we realized that they were doing their work in the early afternoon, even though the classes were scheduled in the morning, and they were working from their dorms. When we changed the class times to afternoon, the students flocked to them. The data showed us that students didn’t want to think about statistics courses in the morning, and we didn’t fill their needs in a face to face class, so they used what they could to get the learning they wanted.”
Clay Shirky's words have been whirling through my mind. My first takeaway from his address was to remind myself that students DO want to learn. In a sad time where many school districts are limiting class choices due to financial constraints, students are still looking for ways to educate themselves. Many high school students are signing up for Advanced Placement, Post-Secondary Option, Dual Credit, and Language courses on their own, and these classes aren't always connected to their schools. I've come to see that my role as a Blended Learning Teacher is to help them accomplish these goals by training them to "learn to learn." My primary purpose is to teach them to take responsibility for their own learning because they may need to pave a "road less traveled" in the journey to their education. I want to empower my students on their journey, and so I make a resolution: I will listen to my students.
I will let them show me how they want to learn. I will remember that I am not always the potter, rather I may sometimes be the clay.
Blended Learning Rhetoric and Composition