New Routes = New Understanding

From my house, there are many ways to get to Shingle Springs. When I drive, I take the main road. The main road will get me there. When I ride my bike, there are countless routes. I can take Deer Valley on one side of the freeway, Cothrin Ranch on the other side of the freeway, or one of the many, many side streets along the way. Someone new to the area can figure out how to get to Shingle Springs many different ways: look at a road map, look at a satellite map, use GPS, use Goggle maps, follow someone, ask directions, etc. All of these ways will work. Some people prefer a paper map, others prefer a GPS system. I have found a new and deeper understanding of the area by cycling. I have ridden on beautiful country roads that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve even met some interesting creatures along the way…

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Teaching is like this. There are many ways that students learn. A teacher will do many things to meet the needs of the various learning styles. This is similar to the many ways to receive directions on a route to Shingle Springs. A teacher that uses lecture only is similar to a person who will travel by the main road. Yes, it may get them there. But the person will have a limited view of the area. The individual could broaden their view by looking at a map, using Google earth for satellite imagery, or following a friend on a new route. When I cycle, I ride many different roads that lead to the same location. I have ridden roads that are well traveled, and roads that many people don’t know about. The point is, by riding all these roads, I have a deeper understanding of the entire area. Using technology is like this. When a teacher adds technology to a teaching lesson, it can cause certain learners to have a deeper understanding. True, a learner will gain knowledge through listening to lectures, reading course material, and participating in discussions. Adding audio, visuals, and even collaboration via technology opens up a new “road” to the learner. This road may provide a deeper understanding.

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