Students as Teachers

One of the fears that I have noticed that raises its head when talking about using technology with teachers is a fear that the students will know more than the teachers.  I find it interesting that this was okay back in the TV/VCR days, when you just said “Robert, set the TV up for me.”  Now when I say let the kids show you, teachers get defensive.  I personally have learned several cool, helpful things about my iPad from students.

I think that the big trick is communicating with the students that you are teaching. If you let them know that you prefer to be taught things “privately” and not in front of the class, let students know that.  They will respect that and try to work within that. But if you say “I don’t want to know” either directly or through ignoring them you are loosing out.  For one thing, their suggestion might be something that helps.  But more importantly you may miss out on the chance to give that one student the opportunity to teach their teacher.  That can be a powerful experience for a student.  
Also you miss giving that student the opportunity to share what they know with their class.  Some students may not like doing this so I suggest asking the student if it is all right if you teach the class what they have taught you. Be sure to say “____ am I doing this right?” To check with them and let the class know who taught you.  Added bonus if you can get them to get so fed up with you “trying” to explain it and doing it badly that they offer to teach the class themselves!

Thank you Genoka for the editing tips!!  First draft was written on an iPad and I missed a much of mistakes when I looked at it again!

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