ULearn17 - Keynote 1: Eric Mazaur

Innovating education to educate innovators

Innovating education to educate innovators

with Eric Mazaur 

Eric started to believe he was the best Physics teacher - based on his student evaluations. The 'traditional' lecture model - delivering, listening, transmitting content/information, notetaking. Asking a colleague, what am I going to teach, he was told to get a textbook.  If the students have the book, and I have the same text, Eric asked what will I do now? Aha - he found a text that was out of print. Summary notes were given out at the end of the lecture - to ensure they stayed!

Is that what education is? Merely a transmission? If this was the case, educators - you are about to lose your job! It HAS to be so much more than this. What MORE?
Relationships, social interactions, you need to take the information and create new meanings, we need to surface the mental models behind this.
What questions are we asking? Eric completely changed his thinking - 

transfer of information (in class)ANDassimilation of that information (out of class)

Yet we need to flip this - assimilation IN class. Teach by questioning, rather than telling. The students were shocked though - they had to think, debate, discuss, convince, 'aha' moments. Try reawakening the curiosity of the mind. 

Think - quiet

and Repeat

Children can't stop asking WHY WHY WHY? Turning innate curiosity off, but we need to TURN this back on. Turning from an answer to the reasoning - bringing the thought process back into the classroom. We make a commitment, emotionally connected, actively involved and totally engaged. Great point made by Eric using a metal plate with a circular hole - we actually cared about whether the hole increases, decreases or stays the same. 

If we 'flip' learning, and record video for students - they speed them up, passive viewer. Textbooks - transfer pace set by reader, viewer active BUT isolated, no real accountability.
If we want every student prepared for every class - turn out of class experience more social - perusall - social learning platform, interactive - can see who's online, highlight, ask questions, partitioned by class - can see the transcript - students able to comment, helping each other - peer tutoring. A rubric-based assessment where they must demonstrate thoughtful reading and interpretation. Connecting pre-class and in-class activities - a window into their brains. Using extrinsic and intrinsic motivation for engagement, active participation.

Eric concludes by reiterating that Education is not just about transferring information, nor getting students to do what we do, INSTEAD, we want ACTIVE participation and engagement. An outstanding keynote - thought-provoking and a wero for us all moving forward. 
Tēnā rawa atu koe, Eric!