Sunday, April 27, 2008
On the same page
Teaching a group who are all on wireless laptops is a strange affair. Yesterday I was trying to explain some ideas on a powerpoint which my group all had access too. Of course they could control the rate of their own progress through the slideshow, and I had a somewhat slippery control over the process of my commentary. I confess that I really wanted everyone on the same page (yes I know I’m a control freak) and that brought the didactic urge to the fore, even though it was embedded in a sequence of teaching that included exploratory group discussion, reflection, paired work as well as online activity. Coming home I was reflecting on the power of that idea of being on the same page, a phrase from the age and perhaps the pedagogy of print. I imagined that it derived from an era of scriptural authority or what deCerteau refers to as the scriptual economy of written language, and indeed this source refers to a hymnal. What would be a more contemporary reference point for the digital age? Starting from the same link, working in the same affinity space - or, do we in fact need to spend more time on the same page?