Training versus Tools

Today’s conversations and research led me to the question of where are we in relation to what people actually know? Some people are doing amazing things online. There is great pedagogy working towards identified learning outcomes using electronic tools. It’s awesome. On the other hand, there are people saying, “I don’t know what I don’t know and I know that makes me unsure.”

The project requires adoption of online tools. There is an established LMS which works well and it being upgraded for next year so will be able to do even more. The skill set within the staff ranges from able to embed social media into lecture PowerPoints in real time, to able to load a document onto the LMS that comes from a central repository.

A temptation with a lot of additional resources is to buy access to the newest and funkiest tool (I personally suffer from this…and pay ongoing annual fees simply on the grounds that “I can use that this year, I’m sure”). I am coming around to the position that we don’t need more funky tools – we have existing ones that are still pretty funky – we need to build the expertise of the staff to use what we already have. The question is, how do you build skills in people who are experts? These people are really talented, knowledgeable individuals who just don’t know what they don’t know and how what they don’t know might actually make them more awesome.

Perhaps the story I need to think of is just that. Being an expert in accounting is great, now if you’re knowledgable in online tools you can differentiate for students in one easy step and then you can reuse or recycle your content for the following year, therefore saving time. And then, you can repurpose other, existing material to supplement your content to create a new dimension. Maybe that’s the story – but then how to make sure experts don’t feel a loss of their pedagogy in the brave new world. Hmmm…..this is making me think………solutions anyone?


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