Friday, November 1, 2013

unCon 2013 Session: Changing Roles of Teachers in the Ed Tech Area

Moderator: Christina Inge

Today, Christina Inge led an interesting session on “The Changing Roles of Teachers in the Ed Tech Area”. A hot topic at today’s MassTLC unConference, Ed Tech came up in Jean Hammond’s earlier session called “What’s Next in the MA Ed Tech Cluster?”

Unlike Hammond, Inge concentrated on the impact of Ed Tech on teachers regardless of location. Inge described the obligations of a teacher today to be much more than simply giving students information. Referring to Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’, Inge theorized that teachers also play a large part in the socialization and self-actualization of their students. With EdTech, some of the so-called ‘grunt work’ like grading papers has been taken out of the equation leaving them more time to concentrate on these more difficult aspects of teaching.

On the other hand, Ed Tech may aid teachers not only by getting rid of the grunt work, but also by enabling many alternative versions of the classroom that, in the past, were simply not possible. One of these alternative classrooms discussed was the ‘flipped’ classroom in which the traditional lecture is reduced to homework and the more hands-on applications of learned knowledge usually left to homework becomes the main focus. Clearly, the effects of EdTech on teachers are massive, leaving lots of room for discussion, a perfect topic for an unConference session.

The unConference offers not only an incredible array of perspectives but also an intimate setting so that each of these unique perspectives can be expressed. With this special atmosphere that the unConference creates, Inge’s session was littered with personal anecdotes and extensive discussion about these many different implementations of EdTech.

Jade Beguelin

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