The Learner’s Perspective

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend last Saturday’s class due to health reasons. However, I watched the presentation, followed the links and read the activities posted by our instructors. The most interesting point I have learnt is how to put yourself in other people’s place; how to imagine what it is like to belong to a disadvantaged group or those having physical disabilities. This idea, I think, is highly important for us as teachers as we encounter a variety of students everyday. As a language instructor I teach English to students who belong to different backgrounds and have diverse language proficiency levels.I learnt that thinking about the teaching experience from a learner’s perspective contributes to a productive learning environment.

However, I still find the part of the lesson about using twitter in a classroom a bit unclear. I’ve watched the video about the use of twitter in learning situations; yet I find it challenging to use such a tool in my classroom. Firstly, I do not fully understand how twitter, as a social media platform, works, may be because I’m more familiar with Facebook. Secondly, can we as teachers control the kind of language and the type of comments posted by our students? This is a question which we may seek to answer in the coming classes.

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13 Responses to The Learner’s Perspective

  1. balimaha says:

    Thanks for your post Rania

    You make important points here: to take the learner’s perspective, and how we cannot control what learners would write on social media such as Twitter. That is true. Let us discuss in class

  2. Hiya, I agree, knowing how to use tools like Twitter in class is a challenge. I suppose I would ask what you want your students to take away from your class. Also, I think you should practice tweeting a bit and see how you find it in order to see if it is something that will fit with your teaching style.

    Thanks for this post. I support lecturers who use technology and it’s lovely to have a thoughtful post from the other side 🙂

    • VanessaVaile says:

      Rania, about tweeting — do your students use Twitter? Ask them how they use it — and for help. From there, you can open discussion about different ways to use the platform and how to use it for learning.

  3. Great posting. Being aware of the differences in students is very important. Even students who show every sign of understanding can be unclear on small things or hesitate to ask because they might look silly. Even the best students can be unsure of themselves sometimes.
    Good question about Twitter and controlling student comments. If you discussed best behaviour with them beforehand do you think they would listen?

  4. Hi there, Rania, and great post. You have touched upon two crucial aspects pertaining teaching, namely empathy and learner-centredness. If you believe, as I do, that teaching is not just a mere transferrence of knowledge, that it is a deeply human experience, then learning cannot come to be without empathy. As I read your post, I was reminded of another post written by a fellow teacher, to which I’m sharing the link here:

    Regarding your considerations about the use of Twitter, just so that you have an idea, I could say that it was how I met Maha Bali, and am I glad I have! Twitter has enabled me to connect with like-minded educators and people, and I simply cannot live without it anymore. Now, at first, I wondered the exact same things as you, so what I did was search around the web for other people’s experiences with it so that I could get started. I am currently trying out blogging with my students, and it’s been quite a challenge. Here are some awesome resources on the Twitter & Education interface/arena:

    Keep blogging! 🙂

  5. “How can I be an educator if I do not develop in myself a caring and loving attitude toward the student, which is indispensable on the part of one who is committed to teaching and to the education process itself.” ~ Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom

  6. I have two uses for Twitter in my studies:
    1) I follow interesting people in the field – they then post links to useful research and articles;
    2) If I find out something useful, I Tweet about it . All my tweets then act as a quick notebook of good stuff.
    Good luck with your blogging! Best, Sandra

  7. mahagayel says:

    Very nice post Rania as you mentioned the good and the unclear parts of our discussions although you weren’t there. Being a teacher at the end is a really very hard job! Go on!

  8. mahagayel says:

    Very nice post Rania as you mentioned the good and the unclear parts of our discussions although you weren’t there. Being a teacher at the end is a really very hard job! Go on!

  9. Good to see you’re blogging. It can open up a whole new world. I made so many “contacts” in the last year (I’m quite new to this too).

    I learned ever so much from my discussions in forums. It’s actually quite addictive I noticed.

    Keep it up !

  10. VanessaVaile says:

    PS among other uses, tweeting is a good way to “sneak” writing onto the menu, like taking a small bite of an unfamiliar dish… just one sentence at a time. Writing is writing, and sentences are the building blocks

  11. I agree and disagree with the teacher being responsible for student behaviours. Working with apprentices on construction job sites it was very important to instill a respect for all the other workers’ safety and this involved a enforcement of the idea of being a member of a group and not entirely an individual. It isn’t that you weren’t special as a learning apprentice, only there was a greater role that went into your skills book and that was watching out for others. At first, the apprentices had to be told and they either made safety part of their skill set or were pushed out of the group.

    On the other side, the person training an apprentice had others to please too and apprentice needed to take on responsible membership if they wanted to advance.

    This sounds a bit rigid but people normally seek out membership over being lone players. Job site or classroom, it doesn’t matter. Also, though someone might not perform to a particular assignments’ specifications they may offer other evidence by “being there” for fellow students or quietly but persistently working at their best level.

    My experience is the young people were usually rowdy at first and calmed down. More concerning are ones who seem to have no voice of their own and you need to determine if it is this is silencing by the group or they just don’t know where to begin to express themselves. It’s a challenge.

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