I don’t normally go home on the weekdays, but since I had free time, I went to my parents’ house for dinner and some chatting.
My little cousin is a senior at St. Ignatius (my Alma mater) and is always doing homework after dinner at the dining room table. Last night, she had her head phones on and giggled a few times.
“What are you watching?” I asked her, because I’m always down for a laugh.
“My teacher made a YouTube video,” she said. At this point I’m thinking, ‘What? Is he drunk and dancing around or something? Did friends get him at a bar all over some girl?’
“What kind of vide0?” I asked.
“It’s the first time he ever made one and it’s for class. We ran out of time so he made this to teach us what we couldn’t go over in class,” she explained. And sure enough, there was his voice teaching his students about solving trigonometric equations. Take a look.
There was a part two, but I’ll save you from the torture of having to remember what exactly Sin, CoSin, Tangent and all those other tidly-bits mean. I got a headache just listening to the first minute of the seven minute video. Not bad for a first time YouTube video maker, eh?
So this got me thinking. We have classes online that you can attend in your pajamas, right? And now, if teachers run out of time in class, they can easily just send their students a link to a video that furthers the classroom experience, explains how to solve equations thanks to Powerpoint through the wonders of technology and allows for students to take it as they please.
As I’m writing this, I’m still trying to figure out if I have a problem with it. Would you consider this situation like work? For example, people have complained previously that having their BlackBerry phones connected to their work email is, in fact, working when you’re not on the clock. Or that you cross boundaries with smartphones now, not ever fully being around your family when you need to be because you can always do some kind of work through your phone. The New York Times recently published an article about these boundaries and what smartphones have done to the American people. It basically merges both world to a point of no return.
But the question I’m posing is, does schooling fall into the same category? Anyone can be overworked and side affects are certainly seen in many different people who are always on the go. An overdose of stress can even lead to medical problems and health problems. Once my cousin hits college, there will hardly ever be a stopping point unless she plans it. Face it, when you’re sitting at home, doing nothing, you always have the thought in the back of your mind that you SHOULD be doing something. There is a go, go, go feel in the world. But little does everyone know that in order to keep sane, you need downtime. There’s no doubt about that.
Nonetheless, you have the upside to all of this as well. You’re learning what you need to know to pass the class and you can learn at your own leisure, right? I mean, she can pause the video, watch it all the way through and rewind if she needs to. The concept that learning can be done in different methods is important because as growing, conceptualizing human beings, we should always be learning and evolving. So, in a way, I don’t totally disagree with this form of classroom continuation.
Please share a story or example of classroom continuation if you have one! I want to know what else is going on out there! 🙂