I think I’m just going to let higher ed be higher ed—whatever that is these days and for however long it lasts. It’s not that I couldn’t continue to write about it, as many outsiders still do, but I am just not that interested anymore, and I often don’t like the tone of said outsiders and don’t want to be one. I’ll still read some things about it and follow a bundle of Twitter folk to hear what they say, but it would surprise me if I talk about it again on this site. I’ve already said a lot between 2005 and 2014 and don’t want to throw it all away, so, perhaps the best idea is just to let it stand. I think I’ll just state a few thoughts here today and then let it stand as is, with the possibility of some future re-organization, although the way this site theme organizes category choices is pretty neat and hard to improve on.
My topic here has been instructional technology, a term I much prefer to that clunky ed tech so currently overused, and here are a very few remaining points:
- I don’t think anyone ever said that technology trumps teaching. I know I never did, but if someone has said that, you have every right to be skeptical of anything else they say. I was a professor first and then an instructional technology professional, and I would never presume to tell faculty how to teach, with or without technology. I believe—call me old fashioned—that subject expertise, not instructional design, is the foundation of good teaching. And I don’t think it’s an art that you must be born with. Some people are good performers of teaching right from the get-go and some get better over time, but I have to tell you that I learned the most (in grad school) from a teacher with no charisma and little teaching style. He just so happened to know what he was talking about and I agreed to pay attention to it. Listening is not passive.
- All that said, I think instructional technology is fantastic for exploring ideas and creating content, whether that content is the written word or scientific experimentation or data analysis, etc.
- I am not opposed to the old lecture format, at all. I liked sitting and listening and doodling, but then I like letting ideas sit in my head for a while until fully formed. If I had my way, I might like education to slow down, rather than speed up.
- For me, online teaching was the best possible way to teach, because I enjoyed putting courses together and then implementing them online. Implementing them felt like I was having a one-on-one conversation with each student all the time. It turns out that even though I could teach in a classroom, I did not enjoy the classroom format of me up on the stage, and that still is the predominate format in higher ed today. I would prefer computer labs, but then you might as well be online.
Finally, something must be done about the pitiful state of abandoning the professoriate for the ghetto of an adjunct faculty workforce. Pitiful.
I have other blogs in the fire, as you can see in my sidebar links, where you can go if interested in other topics. I can’t think of a good sunset line that doesn’t sound like a cliché, so here’s that featured image that you can caption with your own ideas about when to call something quits.
*Some of the oldest posts you might run into could have broken links and out of date references. Nothing I can do about that, short of deleting posts, and I think I’ll just let them all stand.