Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Active Listening

listeningIn Put the Laptops Away from Ideas and Thoughts, Dean Shareski  states,

“This is about recognizing what types of learning you are doing in class and when technology makes it richer and when it dilutes…Paying attention to one another is the best use of time. The laptops then provide a wonderful supplement for alone time and thinking.”

We teach our students that there are different tools we use for different purposes. We use almanacs, dictionaries, reader’s guide to periodic literature, and encyclopedias for different uses. We use hammers, saws, and screwdrivers to do different things. We might drive a car or ride a bicycle or simply walk depending on what we want to do and where we want to go.

The same thing applies for using technology or not using technology in the classroom.

Technology (laptops, internet, word processing) would be great to use when researching, looking for information, organizing thoughts. It would be good to use technology when creating something new with other people where you need tools that are available there.

But the exchange of ideas when in a face to face group needs to be done when without technology. Looking at each other’s body language and hearing tones of voices are as important as the ideas themselves. Interaction between people can have a big impact on the idea.

When building something, architects and builders come together and discuss the actual plans. The face to face meeting is as important as the blueprints. They may work separately to complete their individual tasks but when they have to collaborate to create the final product, it takes more than separate jobs. It takes the meeting of the minds, collaboration of ideas, and working together to solve any problems that may come up to end up with a final product that both can feel proud of doing.

Technology is great for the initial stages and supplementing ideas but it cannot be the only thing.

When collaborating, we need to stop and listen to others but this can’t be done if we work individually focusing on ourselves instead of others. We may be hearing others but not listening to what is said. Listening involves the participant taking an active part and hearing is a passive action.

So, when I have class discussions, everyone will put away technology. If I am sharing information, then I don’t mind people using what they need to take notes or find information.

How do you feel about the use of technology in the classroom? Please share.

Image: 'My Listening Ears'
Found on flickrcc.net

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