Teaching = Relationships

Prompt: Open the resource page titled "Photos for Synectics Discussion" and choose one photo that reminds you of a memorable instructional development experience you have had, be it an important Powerpoint presentation, a particularly challenging lesson, or a full-blown course. Right-click to "save" your selected photo to your desktop. Create a new thread in this discussion forum, attach your saved photo to your thread, and explain why you chose the photo or why it reminded you of a particular instructional development experience.

I smiled a little when I saw the file names of the two pictures that I chose for this post. (It's small things like that... those serendipitous occurrences.)  The first was "discuss.jpg" and the other "seaside.jpg". I couldn't have picked two better words! But that was not the original question.

I chose both of these pictures because they showcase two individuals, engaged in an action of sorts. My philosophy of learning and teaching is based on the assumption that meaningful education happens when the relationships between teacher, learner, and content (knowledge) are thoughtfully considered. In these two pictures, we see two people - in relationship to each other - and gathering around their "content". For "discuss.jpg" the content exists in the conversation between the two while in "seaside.jpg" the learner and teacher approach and consider the content (whatever the heck that is on the beach!).

These both represent all of my teaching experiences: as a middle school teacher, academic coach/tutor, undergraduate teaching assistant, trainer, and presenter. In all I am constantly reflecting on the relationships between myself, the learner, and the content.

I'm at once thrilled, fascinated, intrigued, and somewhat skeptical of the use of technology in learning -- but what I find most interesting is how technology will and is changing the relationships between teacher, learner, and content. This is part of the reason why I'm back at NC State working on my graduate studies. I have lots of questions, and I'm going to generate a whole lot more before I find some answers.

[caption id="attachment_377" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="discuss.jpg"]Discuss[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_378" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="seaside.jpg"]Seaside[/caption]


Originally posted on August 21, 2010 per the requirements of ECI 716: Design & Evaluation of Instructional materials at NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.


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