Sunday, April 27, 2008

On the same page

Church door
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?


DrJoolz said...

ah yes. control freakery. It is weird isn't it. You think you are a liberal wishy washy lefty and then you get challenged.
I had this on my online course .. where students on the course actually started to ask the questions and to set tasks for each other!! I can tell you it was weird because at first I felt a bit funny about it and didn't like it. And then I realised it was what I had wanted all these years. So now I am OK. Not sure about the wrong page thing though. That is all too much;))

Guy Merchant said...

Yes spot on...I think you raise something else here, though. Being on the same page or being on the different page is a challenge to conceptions of synchronous group working, but being on the wrong page is about authoritarian control.

Guy Merchant said...

I'm interested in the way we (teachers) are happy with linearity. I reckon the most popular uses of technology are linear. Is that because its easier to plan, control and progress on a linear model?