I am teaching an iOS class, and thought I'd tweet about it. This got the ball rolling for my twitter participation to increase. I decided to expand into the other projects I'm working on. Honestly, I felt a little bit of a thrill when I received emails that told me someone was "following me" or had "retweeted" a post of mine. The challenge is to make my tweets succinct enough to fit into the 140 character maximum. This is probably good for students to have to create clear ideas that fit into the "Tiny Twitter Container". I don't believe Twitter to be the silver bullet for education, but I do see merit in using it as a meaningful tool.
I have gotten to use it already to learn about and share great articles that pertain to topics that interest me. One in particular was an interview with Salman Khan published in Business Weekly. Darren Draper also read it and came back with some questions, beginning an interesting dialogue about the ideas discussed there.
I think that Khan has some really accurate ideas about education today. He has explained that as the world gets faster, so does the learning process. While Educational Theory has been tested throughout the history of modern education, many different voices and students are reached than ever before. Every classroom is full of variables that may facilitate the success of a practice or theory of learning or contribute to its failure. While Salman Khan has a hard science background rather than an education research background, he has managed to create a free website that teaches STEM skills to students of all ages. He points out that creativity is not isolated in the traditional artistic realm, but that the idea of creativity can extend to mathematics and science. His passion is in the area of math and science innovation and he views the process of establishing new ideas in these fields and utilizing tools as creative artistry.
He also explains that internet has offered exposure to great minds that may not have had a voice in previous generations. The idea exchange that happens in blogs and in venues like the aforementioned twitter are unparalleled in any other time. As far as the question that has been asked: Should we employ more video instruction-- the answer I can think of is that we need to have deliberate instruction. I know that as I continued my teaching career, I became better as I learned my curriculum. Teachers need to be researchers. As educators expose themselves to more sources (primary and otherwise), they become more familiar with their curriculum. In doing this, they become a more valuable resource to their students. Teachers should be examples of life-long learners to their students. There is no single practice that works for every student, this is why teachers need to be adept at content knowledge and management practices. The Internet is a seemingly unlimited source for more understanding in these areas.
The balance between video instruction, traditional teaching, and other methods can be struck by an educator who can make intelligent decisions based on the curriculum, student needs, and availability of materials. Teachers today have to be smarter than they've ever been to truly meet the needs of today's students. I feel like this is the main idea of Khan's article. Technology is the door to knowledge and application. Teachers have to be examples of critical thinkers in order to guide students through the process of learning and collaboration.