Sat, Aug 7, 1999
9:00 - 9:45 Computer-Mediated Teaching
What does it mean to be computer-mediated?
In the end then it is learner centered, driven, interactive. It
allows us to tap into what is already known by the learner. That means we
can start on the learners level, not at the classes' collective starting
place. see KAPPAN May 98 pages 655-670
in particular. Names like Piaget, Vygotsky, Feuerstein, Gardner,
Sternberg, Perkins, Costa, Goleman, and Cole are thrown around. But the
important thing for me is how each of these supports the idea that we as
teacher should mediate and not lecture or in the more colloquial each
supports "Don't be sage on the stage, be the guide by the side."
This presentation is contrary to the chart, it is more of a lecture
than anything else. However, you have the URL,
and you can at your leisure go through it, stop and read the KAPPAN
articles, play with some of the software, explore the links the substance
of the "lecture" on your own terms. Herein is the greatest advantage of
the computer. You can put your notes away, write down only the URL to
this page, listen and begin to think of how you can apply this to what you
already do. You don't have to remember anything I say, just see how it
applies to what you already know, what you want to do, and return to it as
often as you need to to complete your tasks as educator.
Now let's take a quick tour of some applications of what I mean by
computer mediated teaching as demonstrated in computer assisted
For me, computer-mediated means I'm not alone in the classroom.
Consider our profession. We work in isolation. We work alone in the
classroom with closed doors. Other professions do not work alone.
Consider the politician and hir aides, the lawyers and hir clerks, the
doctor and hir nurses, the athlete and hir support staff, the entertainer,
and so on. The teacher is a solitary worker. The computer changes all of
that. So I see technology as the panacea to educators.
Computer mediated teaching is our way of collaborating, working in
teams, breaking out of our isolation booths and working with others. We
are a profession which promotes collaboration, equity, and working well
with others; and yet we don't practice our theory. The computer provides
the way to practice our theory. If anyone is interested in writing about
their practical theory, please look at an online journal a NYC public
school colleague and I edit, called Pr@cticalTheory.