Let’s discuss how nowadays e-learning gurus are trying to bridge the gap between the traditional teacher still stuck on old teaching styles and the modern 21st century student who is almost always connected online.
Despite the fast-paced advancements in the world of e-learning, there are still some teachers who are left behind. You know, teachers who have trouble integrating technology in education or they simply don’t want change. On the flip side, students always want change. They want innovation. They want technology integration in education.
Traditional teachers are more concerned with controlling the learning environment. They hold the power and the responsibility in a class, and they see the need for students to be taught and taught and taught. Ironically, modern students also want responsibility. They want learning to be done, not just in the classroom, but also beyond its four walls.
Let me give you an example. I had this college professor where the way he taught was just so old-school in the sense that while he knew what e-learning was, he thought it was totally ineffective. Well actually, I’d like to cross the line and say that he was an ineffective professor. He abhorred online quizzes because according to him, it promoted cheating. In an online quiz, cheating becomes a different argument already.
I know professors that still require their students to buy books (which are quite costly by the way). IMHO, the importance of books is very self-explanatory, but in an environment where students are most likely to bring their e-book-laden devices to class, books are becoming obsolete.
Here’s another example. In the present day, the usual way of submitting the soft copy of class work is by sharing a link to a cloud storage. However, there are still teachers that want their students to submit work via CDs. Seriously? Compact discs? Aside from the fact that CDs are pretty much an outdated storage platform, they’re also a waste because once the surface of a CD becomes too scratched, they become useless.
You can’t make traditionalist teachers become modern, but you can make modern students blend with traditionalists. For starters, a student may opt to save his/her subject requirements on a cloud storage service such as Google Drive or OneDrive and share the link to the teacher. This is what I used to do in my classes. I didn’t submit physical homework to my professors – I instead gave them a shortened link to my assignment which was saved on the cloud. Apart from being convenient and saving paper, I was also teaching the virtues of 21st century learning.
What the teacher can do, if he/she is really reluctant on implementing a more modern way of teaching, is to start adjusting to the reality that education is changing.
If the teacher is really willing to change and adapt, he/she can discuss with the students how they can help their teacher become more modern like creating a single repository for managing and storing classroom collateral (hello, LMS). Said teacher should also be willing to attend digital literacy training, ed-tech forums and the like so he/she can become more flexible and modern.
And though traditionalists can’t be modern, we can at the very least help them embrace constant change by showing them that learning is about constant innovation and progress.
How would you bridge the gap between traditional teachers and modern students? Let us know your ideas in the comments section below.
Enzo is a marketing consultant by profession and a passionate e-learning blogger. He’s also a Microsoft Education Ambassador and an advocate for education, so his articles discuss e-learning not just from the insights of a student but also a from a teacher’s perspective, by leveraging his experience to deliver helpful posts.