Monday, April 19, 2010

Bathwater and the baby? Not again!

As a distributed learning teacher I continue to see at least two or three new students a week. I'm getting students who are too anxious to go to school or even leave their homes. Others have burned bridges with a teacher but still need to get credits to graduate. Then there are those who are busy training for nationals, or modelling in Paris, or doing missionary work in Mexico (all true examples). I'm excited that with technology we can offer flexible programs that students can work at anywhere at anytime. Here it comes.....BUT.....

...what about the teacher I talked to today who couldn't get his students to verbalize their learning until he asked them all to text him about it?

...what about my husband's comment at dinner about how important socials skills are in negotiating a contract is in his line of work? You know, ones like reading peoples' expressions and body language, articulating clearly your thoughts on the spot, and knowing when to listen and when to interject in an appropriate way?

...what about the student with anxiety? Is enabling her to work at home going to help with her coping skills?

What is going to happen if in our eagerness to provide students with all these wonderful tools and give them all that flexibility and choice they miss out on learning some valuable skills that they get in a face-to-face setting?

Hopefully in this shift we are experiencing in education, we as teachers won't throw out those skills and know to maintain a balance.

Just thinking out loud here.


  1. I was thinking along these lines today as I read an article about how kids prefer to communicate through texting. Is this the case because they are more comfortable having technology between themselves and others? How sad! We need to make a real effort to teach students the art of communication without the aid of technology.

  2. One thing I suspect is that some schools could put strategies into place that would help temper anxious times. For instance, when kids start at a new school, have systems in place that really do make the transition less stressful.