We tend to see the classroom as a space where a teacher imparts knowledge...typically in one direction.
How is this the case these days, where students can use their smart phones or computers to check upon a fact , or look up a company that you might have mentioned? Perhaps they are on social media talking with their friends … Is this disrespectful to the teacher and the learning process? I don’t think so.
It may be a sign that the student comes in not as a passive recipient but is an active participant in their own learning process (and whose mind hasn’t drifted off in a meeting or a lecture no matter how important, relevant or interesting subject might be?) Perhaps going on social media, for a short time, actually enlivens the student?
What does it mean for teaching practice? I’ve already hinted that perhaps we shouldn’t use the word “student” and think of them more as “participants”. And if there participants then it is not in one direction but something more akin to coproducing knowledge.
I returned to what coproducing means in the next blog on teaching. However you might want to consider how you can get the participants teaching each other?