As an observant foreign student who has only been at Stony Brook University for a couple of weeks, I have noticed the range of different teaching methods used by professors here.
Some classes are provided with a chalk board – something I have not seen for around 10 years now and some are provided with super state of the art surround sound video technology.
The changes of teaching techniques in different classes got me thinking…
We all learn about how our life has changed dramatically since the creation of the internet in 1990 but does anyone stop to think about the way in which we learnt how it changed?
Weather it be by email, twitter, speech, written on a blackboard, Powerpoint, the message gets across – but does the way the message is communicated have an effect on the way we consume the information?
I think for most students learning needs to be visual. In the book Ways of Seeing, media theorist John Berger wrote “unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. “
As for the way we communicate with our teachers I was shocked yet happy to learn that I was able to ask one of my professors questions via twitter – This is obviously a very informal and modern way of communication however I feel that more students would prefer to tweet their questions from their smart phones than sit down and email a teacher or visit their office.
Twitter often gets a bad name in social networking as many people abuse it to communicated empty facts that no one really needs to know. However I feel it is a very fast way to communicate and learn.
The National Education Society posted an article on how tweeting can benefit teachers in a classroom situation:
“By following other educators’ tweets, teachers can keep up with the latest trends, news, and happenings in education, as well as communicate with fellow educators…Inside the classroom, Twitter can be used to review lessons and remind students what is going to be covered in class that day or the next.”
I am surprised at the range of different teaching methods at Stony Brook, however I think that this way each student can build and learn each form of communication.
There is a scare that future generations will find it difficult to communicate face to face with people due to most communications being internet based – therefore I think it is important that every style is important for a healthy balance.