Use IT in Class? Train your Teachers

If the teachers don’t know, how they can be expected to lead students? Some questions are just answered too easily and reveal insanity in the leadership teams of school districts nationwide.

New research suggests that for IT to improve student skills, teachers have to be given adequate support in the classroom.


All of the readings for this week have to do with different sides of a triangle of principles. Redundancy, Coherence, and Personalization. All of them have a common theme.

  1. “Some e-learning describes graphics using words in both on-screen text and audio narration in which the audio repeats the text. We call this technique redundant on-screen text because the printed text (the on-screen text) is redundant with the spoken text (the narration or audio) (Clark & Mayer, 2011, p. 113).” What is there to be gained by saying the same word twice, between screen and audio? About as much as the heat and hot water disappearing on a 35 degree night in a rental house. but I digress. Possessed Redundancy is pure overkill for teaching and learning.
  2. “Perhaps our single most important recommendation is to keep the lesson uncluttered. In short, according to the coherence principle, you should avoid adding any material that does not support the instructional goal. The coherence principle is important because it is commonly violated, is straightforward to apply, and can have a strong impact on learning (Clark & Mayer, 2011, p. 150).” Individuals that throw stuff to the wall and hope it sticks are clearly not qualified to teach or to do most anything important in society. That is a strong opinion, but adding material just because is inexcusable. Lacking Coherence is pure overkill for teaching and learning.
  3. “Some e-learning lessons rely on a formal style of writing to present information. In this chapter we summarize the empirical evidence that supports using a conversational style of writing (including using first- and second-person language) and a friendly human voice. We also explore preliminary evidence for how to use on-screen pedagogical agents and for how to make the author more visible by using self-revealing comments and video transcripts(Clark & Mayer, 2011, p. 179).” In Academicstan, first person writing is forbidden, in some cases, you get the “death penalty” of a failing grade for that paper, but we will not be teaching in Academicstan, but in Charlotte, NC, where insights into the instructor’s personality is helpful to engage the student and get the point across. Missing Personalization is pure overkill for teaching and learning.

Each of the principles listed above introduces Drama to the proceedings, the enemy of successful ambiance and learning. These are part of the reading assigned this week and JIT training has a story to tell that overcomes the negativity in the principles. Clear, concise, to the point materials with a piece of humanity will go far in the classroom of the present and future.