Imagining, reflecting and simply brainstorming are from my perspective the three key/essential components to reinventing and bringing your “A” game in all walks of life and would be the ingredients to break the habitual discomfort in Teaching and Learning. However one can say it’s easier said than done. Another can say “It’s been done before”. But should that stop us from trying? Absolutely not!
Over 8 years I thought I had it all figured out and that my job/career/degree in business would eventually take me where I really wanted to be, but as I woke up one morning, I simply told myself “you need change”. To make a long story short, having worked in a corporate environment it would have been so much easier for me to stay where I was, but I decided I wasn’t happy. It was simple, it was now or never.
The same approach I have today as I will soon begin a new career is the same way I need to stay in an academic setting. It doesn’t matter what subject area you teach, but the wheels of creativity and change must stay moving in today’s quickly evolving world.
The techniques used or discussed in the Jake Glover link talks about reinventing Physical Education. It highlights a video from 1991 where a teacher has students connected to a device to monitor heart rate in order to collect data on how their bodies are using the energy. One of the obvious ways to reinvent any subject area is by incorporating the use of technology. Things such as video games (as also seen on the video link) can help children in becoming more physically fit or interested and engaged in their health. Glover also finds ways to spread his message through the use of music by creating informative raps that provide specific terminology related to physical education with a fun twist to it.
Now the question is, what happens to the schools that don’t having any funding for these hi-tech devices such as bluetooth heart rate monitors/devices and exergaming which is a new to the world of physical education? It requires administrators to instruct their staff to focus on the basic fundamentals just as it was done years ago. A bag of balls, some cones and some simple drills and excercises to keep student active.
The Michael Wesch’s video shows students today and their varied visions of their role in education. The time spent on other daily factors seems to be more time consuming then their actual schooling. What message does that send educators on the difficulty of not only engaging students today but also meeting their individual needs? If we are discussing the reinvention of education, although we immediately jump towards technology, the implication that all educators know how to use it efficiently and purposefully is in correct. Starting with what is available and how it is used, is important in the process of revamping rather than reinventing education. All we are doing is changing the forum and the ways to receive and send the necessary information.
The bottom line is that just as Professor Smith, we need to continue to make it interesting for our students and one self.