Task 1 – Connecting. Scenario 2 (Day 1 still)

Well the over acting was sooo academic!
This is the scenario representing ‘the why the hell should I care?’ academic stereotype. Firstly, I have to say it’s not an academic stereotype I’m familiar with, but let’s roll with it.
OK, it appears we have a problem. The problem is that if our academic in this scenario persists with her negative attitude it doesn’t get us anywhere. More to the point, it begins to have an adverse affect on our student (as in scenario 2).
So let’s get positive to quote Olivia!
I’d like to appeal to this academic, in the context of Connectivism, and I will assume while I am with her that she is proud to teach at university. And my guess is that that assumption will actually be well founded.
So, let’s start talking about the benefits for her in terms of Connectivism and also connectivity.
If her students are using devices to connect with each other, and others like them outside of class, it may be she is witnessing a phenomenon for this first time: her students doing her course by their own volition and accessing each other through technology in ways that wouldn’t have been possible before. Doesn’t she find that interesting? Surely? Students gravitating towards each other when they are in learning spaces they control is natural, good behaviour. Though we need to look out for those who are shy, reticent, quiet and potentially excluded.
This academic has a challenge though: to observe and appreciate the gravitational pull and support that students can have on/for each other and know what her role in all this becomes.
I just saw a comment in another #byod4l discussion from a teacher who said her colleagues didn’t like the students using their devices in class in case they were on Facebook. That becomes a particularly interesting point to raise in a learning conversation that on this occasion happened to be in Facebook!! But it’s also a sign that the academic colleagues are so far removed from understanding what we are discussing on #byod4l. It’s scary – but reality. And it’s not new. I remember listening to Wes Fryer’s podcasts in about 2005 and this was a point raised frequently then. Why do some get it and some don’t?
Benefits…. How do we express these to the reluctant academic?
“Do you teach with style? What’s cramping your style? How could you flourish? How could you bring your students to life? How could they direct their own learning more? Be more reflective? Burn their fingers a little? – Open the door to a world of interesting people. People that represent what your students aspire to be. Find new ways of connecting with the real world. Or rather, let your students find ways to connect with the world out there and you support, guide and challenge them as they tap into new sources of applied knowledge and experience.”

About Andrew Middleton

NTF, PFHEA, committed to active learning, co-operative pedagogies, media-enhanced teaching and learning, authentic learning, postdigital learning spaces. Key publication: Middleton, A. (2018). Reimagining Spaces for Learning in Higher Education. Palgrave.
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