Third Reflection: Pedagogy & Theory of Modern Teaching & Learning in Higher Ed

  • Blog Post 3 – Relevant Themes:
  • Open Education
  • Technology usage in higher education
    • Open education being a movement rather than just a pedagogical concept. I’ve been exposed to and immersed in the field of open education through my PLN for about a couple of years. I actually recently contributed to a panel presentation at OER17 about the role of Trump and Brexit policies affecting open education. My main point was how these policies were affecting open education in relation to the electronics ban both of these countries imposed recently. This happened right before my thesis proposal was due and 2 weeks before I was supposed to travel to the US for personal reasons, while supposedly also working on my thesis proposal. My main point in the video (below) was that these policies affected access to my education, which is the very main affordance of open education. The second important point I wanted to make is that there are many other dimensions to open education, aside from the tech; what about how these policies affect open movement and open travel? Now, I didn’t consciously think of open education as a “movement” before because I didn’t know that that’s how it started, but this relates to what I was saying in the video; these policies are a direct hindrance to the spread of the open education movement! The word movement is different in these two contexts; one means the physical movement from one place to another and the other means movement as a social phenomenon and an interest group mobilizing people to act differently or embody a new ideology. I found this relation interesting (though this connection was made a few weeks after OER17).
    • During last week’s class we were asked to reflect on the question: What do you think is the role of technology in transforming higher education, in Egypt and at AUC?
      • The reasons I started to think about were both broad and limited in their scope, but the Ted Talk we watched completely expanded the horizon of that scope for me. The reasons I gave were: To fulfill a teacher’s pedagogy but it shouldn’t be used without an explicit and shared purpose, to develop students to acquire the skills of the 21st century and digital literacies, to develop global citizens with a wide scope of ideas and experiences in dealing with individuals from different contexts and cultures, to provide access to education and resources (through online learning, among others).
      • Now, without giving away too many details so you enjoy watching the video (which is pretty interesting by the way and worth checking out) and forming an opinion on your own, the video was saying that we are doing it wrong; instead of applying the best practices of technology and trying to maximize the benefit of technology in the current way we teach, we should re-imagine teaching altogether, to consider the affordances of these technologies. The speaker discussed three challenges that are facing education today, and suggested solutions that are mainly revolving around the concept of personalized learning. The way he was framing all these challenges and solutions is interesting and seem easy to adopt. But when I think about the current situation in Egypt and try to find ways of applying what the speaker is endorsing…. Dead end! The reason I say this is because, I think, there are so many factors that need to exist in order for these strategies or solutions to work. There is an assumption underlying this talk; that the context, the educational system, the teachers, the students, educational policies are open to that kind of high-end innovation and technology integration. What about public schools where there are almost no computers? What about teachers who do not have autonomy in their classrooms? What about people working in a very centralized system and cannot afford to integrate such ideas? More importantly, what about illiteracy rates? What about access to education? What about access to technology, or even internet? All of these considerations are non-existent in his talk (though not the fault of the speaker at all, who is discussing an entirely different context), but these are crucial for anyone implementing any of these ideas; contextualization is of utmost importance!
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