Wednesday, April 7, 2010

‘Don’t get the SCHOOLING get in the way of the LEARNING’

The trip to Prague that I made about a fortnight ago has indeed been a fruitful one, for both the professional and personal side of me. It was an inspiring and enriching experience to see what are the possibilities that lay out before me as both a teacher/educator, and as a man who believes in the underlying value of education as the great connector of any social chasms. It was a uniquely satisfying experience, to see fellow educators in action, and to see how they have managed to change the lives of tens, hundreds, and perhaps even thousands, by the mere believe in the education of the child, rather than of a subject...and in the belief that technology is just a mere tool, as a means to an end, and as a great leveragor (for lack of a better term) of making the classroom experience that much more engaging and enriching.

‘Don’t get the schooling get in the way of the Learning’

The mantra above has somehow just got stuck to my head from the time that it was uttered during the seminar. Upon reflection, I guess it was one of those moment of revelation that perhaps we as teachers and educators would regularly need so that we may not lose sight of our bearings! Of how sometimes we as educators, tend to ‘lose’ the notion of what learning is all about, and perhaps even of embracing the belief that it is something that happens beyond just the mere confines of the four walls of a classroom too. And I personally believe that here at my current institution, we have been doing something right so far, it is perhaps novel, new and innovative, but it is definitely something right! And I guess in doing all things that are of such a nature, there would be critics, both positive and negative.

And as we trod along a path that has never been trodden, we do need to muster a lot of courage in doing things that have not been done before. And perhaps also, of believing and embracing that the way to go forward is to believe that we are, and should be just as curious as our students...perhaps even enough to say that in a class of 20 students that we are usually teaching in, there are actually 21 learners!

An interesting facet that I realise is how the convergence of technology has merely hasten the transition between one of digital immigrants to digital natives, and how 'DIGITAL' is now THE natural environment that our students are growing up in! For us educators, we must realise that by leveraging on our unique teaching and learning experience in a 1-to-1 platform, what we are doing is actually ‘disrupting’ the status quo, the very same modus operandi of how teaching (and perhaps learning at times) have been conducted for the last 1 to 2 generations. History have shown how these ‘disruption’ and 'disruptors' are both revolutionary and evolutionary in nature, and how these have turn out to be the ones who have stood the test of time as THE way to go forward! And perhaps, what we are doing here @SST right now could just perhaps be that, THE great disruptor, to both revolutionise teaching, and perhaps to evolutionise learning!

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