“Ever since the invention of the Gutenberg press, print has been a dominant teaching technology, arguably at least as influential as the spoken word of the teacher.” – Tony Bates – Teaching in a Digital Age
I feel like I am breaking some sort of teacher code by saying what I am about to say but nevertheless here it goes.. I am not a reader and I really don’t enjoy it either!
Over the past year or so I have made a point to try to remember to put my phone away and read a book of my choosing that’s easy to read and follow for about a half hour before going to bed. In making an effort to do this I am finding that I am slowly beginning to enjoy reading more. Give me an easy to read book about romance, crime or animals and I am a happy camper. Suggestions anyone? However, tell me I have to read and something in my brain goes into shut down mode!
I don’t remember reading being a struggle as a child and have actually made a point to ask my parents about myself as a reader when I was younger. In having those conversations, nothing really seemed too out of the ordinary. I don’t ever remember feeling that dread of getting my 15 minutes of reading in each night or that reading was something that was hard to do. I think my parents did a great job of creating balance for us as kids! So, I really have no idea where my dislike for reading has come from!
One thing I do know for sure is that my love for music and videos is definitely something that has come from and was fostered by my parents! Music was always around when I was growing up. Whether it was in the car, my grandmother sing songs, learning to play the piano, being in band or just spending time around the house music was always there.
If we are to watch a video today, it’s pretty rare to find one that doesn’t have some form of music incorporated. I think this is where my preferred method of learning comes from. Give me the option to read how to do something or watch a video, I am going to pick the video option 100% of the time. Anyone else ever lost an hour to watching Tasty videos on Youtube?
To be fully transparent I feel it’s important to note that I don’t always shy away from text. I may always veer towards learning from a video but often I will take notes about a video, especially when it comes to needing or wanting to reference it later. I may be able to remember the visuals but I often need my notebook to refer back to in order to remember why I felt a connection to that video.
As Ashley points out in her post this week, Bates shares that text truly has stood the test of time. I certainly wouldn’t disagree as I think that we know what we know about learning today because of the interest and power of stories and communicating thoughts over time. For as long as we have been on this earth, we have communicated stories and knowledge through symbols and letters. Without symbols and stories, would we even have video as an option? As many have suggested in their posts this week, balance just might be the key to learning success!
Although last week I wrote about disagreeing with some of the points made by Bates, I have since taken the time to think about each point individually. Thanks Kirstin for the check in, reflective practice is key right? As a learner it is important that we understand how we learn best, there’s no denying that. As an educator it is important that we understand the variety of ways that our students can learn and Bates has provided us with the opportunity to understand the process behind being someone who learns best through text, audio, video or a combination or all three.
In the text section of chapter 7 Bates writes about some of the characteristics unique to text. I wonder if we were to go through this list if we would perhaps be able to connect come of these characteristics to audio and video as well?
Some of the unique presentational characteristics of text are as follows:
- text is particularly good at handling abstraction and generalisation, mainly through written language;
- text enables the linear sequencing of information in a structured format;
- text can present and separate empirical evidence or data from the abstractions, conclusions or generalisations derived from the empirical evidence;
- text’s linear structure enables the development of coherent, sequential argument or discussion;
- at the same time text can relate evidence to argument and vice versa;
- text’s recorded and permanent nature enables independent analysis and critique of its content;
- still graphics such as graphs or diagrams enable knowledge to be presented differently from written language, either providing concrete examples of abstractions or offering a different way of representing the same knowledge