#Teaching November 24

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Each year the blog takes on a different focus. In 2019 the goal is for each post to bring you the reader a lesson, quote, message, or story that can help you grow.


Yesterday my blog post was on how we learn. The best way to learn something new is to be involved in TEACHING it to others.

My circle of friends and acquaintances includes a number of people who have to lecture to others. That group includes sales people, professors, ministers, coaches, school administrators, and speaking professionals.

The lecture is a form of a communication. The problem is the lecture is often a one way street. Unless the speaker is very gifted and intentional there is often very little interaction or feedback from the audience.

No one disputes that keeping an audience engaged is difficult yet the lecture sometimes ignores or forgets an important TEACHING premise. Keep your audience involved and in today’s world technology can help.

Technology has revolutionized our world. Some professions have adapted much quicker than others. Unfortunately in my opinion the Education profession is not running with the lead pack. Yet there are some pockets of technology excellence when it comes to TEACHING.

I follow a number of blogs and attempt to read something on leadership or learning every day. Last week I found a Seth Godin blog post to be fascinating. He wrote about a TEACHING app called Back Channel Chat

Here is a link to his entire blog on the lecture.

Here is brief recap with Seth’s blog in italics

In 1805, if you listened to a lecture for school or work, you heard it live. Every time. Today, that’s still true.

That’s crazy.

Every student already has a phone. Let’s put them to use with Back Channel App.

The Backchannel app begins by blocking all other apps–by reporting student participation. .

Second, the lecturer can at any time ask for students to answer a simple question about what’s being discussed. If a lot of students can’t answer the question, time to slow down. On the other hand, the Backchannel app can also act as a tool for students to anonymously let the lecturer (and the system) know that they’re bored. It’s hard to embrace how obvious this is, and yet it doesn’t get done.

If we insist on lectures being the way they’ve always been, which is a one-way recitation, then let’s simply have students watch best-in-class recordings instead of the wasteful act of recreating them live, every time. But if we’re going to do it live, then let’s actually do it live.

TEACHING can become better with technology tools that engage those that you are attempting to help learn.

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