How Can I Use Technology to Enhance/ Enact the Principles of My Teaching Philosophy?
How Can I Use Technology to Enhance/ Enact the Principles of My Teaching Philosophy? avatar


In Tony’s video, I really appreciate the way he defines student-centered teaching using Frerian concepts.  More specifically, Freire in “The Banking Concept of Education” says that in traditional educational settings “Education …becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor.  Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filling, and storing the deposits.” Instead, Tony argues, we should think about ways to deliver course content so that it is student-centered and students are involved in the production of knowledge and development of critical consciousness.  The question then is how do we do that in an online course? How do we use the technologies and modalities available to us in an online environment in ways that are student-centered, so that “when I enter the classroom I should be someone who is open to new ideas, open to questions, and open to the curiosities of the students as well as their inhibitions. In other words, I ought to be aware of being a critical and inquiring subject in regard to the task entrusted to me, the task of teaching and not that of transferring knowledge” (Pedagogy of Freedom, 49).  

Some of what was most important for me from Tony’s video:

  1. The question of how to use the technologies and modalities that are available in online teaching in ways that are student-centered?
  2. Don’t let technology dictate pedagogy: Instead think of how you can use technology to enhance the ways your teaching enacts your teaching philosophy
  3. Certain modalities are not necessarily more/less student-centered: it’s more about what you do with each tool; developing a student-centered habit of thought around your use of technology in the class
  4. Don’t Lecture too much, provide short mini lectures about a single topic and provide opportunities for students to practice, question, and apply
  5. Don’t design your entire course, design your materials then teach the course so that each week is dynamic
  6. Most importantly: enjoy the experience and give yourself permission to play: be silly, sing, wear a funny hat, read a good poem, include a video of you dropping into the biggest bomb of the winter…

In response to Warnock’s Chapter 5, I really appreciate the way this chapter is structured: He boils down “teaching strategies to several basic approaches” (28) and then dedicates a chunk of this chapter to a discussion of how you would migrate each approach from a f2f course to an online environment.  This is supper practical as I can see myself, reaching for the book as I am trying to figure out how to migrate x online:)

Warnock includes a quote by Elizabeth Ashburn, that is worth repeating here “teaching content that is central to the discipline and also relevant to student’s lives is a …fundamental attribute for designing meaningful learning experiences.”  When I read this I immediately thought of a conversation I am totally immersed in within Writing Studies around the theme of our writing courses and more specifically, the movement towards Writing About Writing themed courses. When I first read about the idea of having the “theme” of the writing class be writing knowledge, an introduction to Writing Studies, I was very unsure–because it would mean, for me, doing away with the culturally responsive themes I use in my courses–yet the more I read and the more I listen to what Douglas Down, Elizabeth Wardle, and Howard Tinberg have to say the more I see how I can do both,  teach culturally responsive Writing About Writing courses in which, for example, rhetoric is a threshold concept, yet my introduction to the concept includes both its Greco-Roman roots and what Damian Baca calls Rhetorics of the Americas. While this may seem like a tangent,  I am reading Warnock at the same time that I am rethinking my courses, so that everything Warnock is teaching me about teaching writing online is through this filter of the really exciting conversations about Writing About Writing and Teaching For Transfer I am sort of caught up in.


Here is the idea I included in the google doc asking us to write about one student-centered activity: Students in my class complete a “funds of Knowledge” (FoK) double-entry reading journal in which they keep track of how their home “funds of knowledge” are informing their reading of a particular text.  On the day we are to discuss or work with the reading in class, we begin that discussion by sharing in groups, using the active learning stations, what we recorded in our FoK double-entry reading journal. This way the discussion begins with us thinking about reading as an interaction between literary and general repertoires.

Here is how I might migrate this activity online:

  1. I would have students watch a YouTube video by one of the folks in multicultural/bilingual education who coined the term
  2. Then I would do a mini video lecture taking students through handout I have that explains what a dialectical reading journal is and how this particular journal is asking them to include their response and emphasize their funds of knowledge i.e. how what you are bringing from “home” is informing your reading
  3. Students would then read the text on their own and complete/submit their dialectical reading journal assignment on Canvas
  4. Students would then get into groups of 3 or 4 and respond to the reading journals using the collaborations tool on Canvas
  5. The activity would end with a short paragraph where each student responds to a discussion asking them to reflect on how this assignment and the conversations they had with their peers changed or shifted the way they think about reading

Just because I loved Tony’s Frerian description of online student-centered learning, I am ending with my favorite Freire quote: “In problem-posing education, people develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation”

Just because I loved the singing in Tony’s video