When I saw this sign on a door to a department store, several thoughts crossed my mind. First, it would make a nice selfie. I snapped a couple of quick ones, and with some editing I think the one shown makes an interesting picture.
My second thought was more practical: why can’t I use this door? Why do I need to use particular doors? Why isn’t this store “open” from as many directions as possible?
To tell the truth, that was the extent of my thinking at the time. But once I registered for this Connected Courses course, and especially after the introductory hang-out, I began to expand the meaning of “Please Use Other Doors.” One thing discussed in the hang-out is that there are multiple ways to organize participation in an open online class, not just one right way.
Similarly, there is no one right way for our students to enter into learning of a particular subject or topic. There are Other Doors through which they enter. Those other doors might be related to the individual learning styles, or prior preparation, or lack of prior preparation, or level of literacy or numeracy, etc. These are things we as teachers generally can’t control but must work with and work around.
I think most in this Connected Courses environment would agree that we should use the technology available to enter through Other Doors into the content we teach. Blogs, textbooks, chats, forums, libraries, Twitter, movies, television, radio, video, audio, presentations, lectures, group work, role-play, drills, and many more doors are there. Are they open? Or are they labeled “Please Use Other Doors?”
I like to enter through other doors. Using the same door all the time is boring. Trying other doors, other ways of doing things, is mind-expanding and may lead to new relationships, new ways of viewing the world, and new learning.
Please Use Other Doors