Taking Authority with Digital Pedagogy

In the context of contemporary pedagogy, what does it mean to be an authority? To me, a major difference between being authoritative and being authoritarian is self-confidence. While an authoritarian figure may fear failure and may try to control a classroom using their position of power, an authoritative figure embraces being a learner alongside students and is comfortable achieving control through other, more respectable, means. In the age of digital pedagogy, I believe that it is important for instructors to recognize but not be intimidated by insecurities, particularly insecurities with technology in the classroom.

As we have heard from previous class discussions, some instructors are reluctant to adopt new technology in the classroom. I understand why. It’s nearly impossible to stay completely up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology, whether that’s a new coding language or a new collaboration tool. Instructors may fear that lack of experience with a tool will show weakness and will cause them to loose respect from students. Not to mention, there’s a chance that the students may be more familiar with the new tech than the instructor may be. While these are legitimate concerns, I think it is very important that instructors are open to be learners in their own classrooms and that they are comfortable taking authority with digital pedagogy. I think that a student is more likely to respect and successfully learn from an instructor that is willing to work with students and take initiative.

One thought on “Taking Authority with Digital Pedagogy”

  1. Thank you for your post! I agree with you that the major distinction between being an authority vs. authoritarian in the classroom stems from self-confidence. Often, people who act in an authoritarian manner are insecure and thus do not want to know the thoughts and opinions of others (especially if their thoughts and opinions are different). It is interesting to note the relationship between authority vs. authoritarian and technology in the classroom — I also agree that the ever-changing technological world may cause some teachers to fear using them … yet, as teachers, we must always remember that we are also students. If a student needs to “help” us with a technology, what a great learning experience for everyone!

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