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Mr Miyagi or Daniel-san?

Tech and Innovation

Posted on February 24, 2010

2 min read

As an avid fan of the Karate Kid series I thought I might postulate on the teacher vs student conundrum that is the Blackboard.

If you don’t know, the Blackboard is an interactive communication system where students receive assignment information, mandatory readings, links to articles and participate in discussion forums. This  often leaves us sans teacher, pressing on ‘chatting’ with each other – blindly stammering forward with complex issues until the next time the lecturer steers us back in the right direction.

Early adopters *waves* have been using discussion forums (the Social Media equivalent of the cork notice boards in Uni hallways) for years. Sometimes I feel my best learnings come from the Blackboard and that it seems you can get a degree using one. We post videos of our work on Uni YouTube channels, write blogs using WordPress and Blogger (cause they’re free!) and then we come back to the Blackboard and critically analyse each others work. It’s an amazing process but I often wonder out loud isn’t that what teachers are for? Am I not a student or am I teacher too?

I could be sitting in my office late at night of a weekend (sad, I know) pondering the preposterousness of Actionscript in Flash, unable to go any further. Banging my head leads to fist thumping and so on leading to bloody stumps (see my first post anime)  so I have to go back  to the ‘Blackboard’ and post my quandary online, only to find other students around the world at the same time, thinking the same thing.

Posting our thoughts & frustrations, sharing our experiences as we complete the same units often means that we solve each other’s problems which highlight to me how important this technology is in the process. Without all this gorgeous shiny technology and amazing Internet, how would I find the answers in my midnight madness?

What do you think – has communications technology made us all teachers and students? How do we discern a true Master in this age of information sharing?