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?


  1. 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;))

  2. 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.

  3. 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?


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