Teaching is changing. Are you?
Two generations and only six decades later, their grandson the student received twenty years of formal English and French education, from dozens of specialized educators on three continents. Today, their grandson the teacher has many new resources, but the challenges continue. I have one class of ten-to eleven-year-olds, access to educational assistants, consultants, administrators, seminars for personal growth, and technological education tools to deliver information to my students in our small town of Penetanguishene, Ontario, from anywhere in the world.
Why is teaching still a challenge? Children are still children, with all the challenges of yesteryear – discipline, attentiveness, self-esteem, peer and parent pressure, and homework. Another significant challenge is that students today reside in a big global village, with big global problems. In this new world, information arrives at lightning speed from all corners of the earth. This high-speed digital highway influences most aspects of their society. Financial services, health care, the military, government services, and transportation are a few examples of where high-speed data collection, storage, and processing have forever changed the way we do business.
This technological tidal wave has now arrived at today’s schoolhouse, revolutionizing how teachers teach and students learn. How is this happening? Computers, cell phones, digital whiteboards, student-response systems, projectors, the Internet, portable media players, software, and email are tools now available to front-line teachers and students.
What does today’s technology allow us to do?
o Access information in various formats from anywhere at any time
o Translate words instantly from one language into another
o Enhance geography lessons with satellite images
o Tap into the world’s webcams to examine our living planet or to interact with other classrooms
o Assess student knowledge using digital tools and adjust lessons accordingly
o At a single touch, access the world’s news programs, newspapers, libraries, and museums
Preparing students to be citizens in this high-speed world is a significant undertaking. As a first step, educators must start teaching with the technology tools their students will use as future leaders and problem solvers.
To implement technology in classrooms, schools must prepare front-line teachers. 6 Steps to Success in Teaching with Technology helps teachers learn about, adapt to, and embrace technology.
Step 1: Understand Why Before an educator can begin to incorporate technology effectively into her classroom, she must be a believer. Step 1 outlines the benefits of incorporating technology into teaching.
Step 2: Adapt Two adaptations must occur for success in teaching with technology. Teachers must adapt to technology, and technology must be adapted to teachers.
Step 3: Plan Having a good plan is a key to success. Step 3 prepares teachers for the Teaching with Technology world by reviewing important planning questions.
Step 4: Do Your Homework Before spending money, teachers need to understand technology options. Step 4 overviews the most popular hardware and software used in today’s classrooms.
Step 5: Implement Effectively Having the latest tools in your classroom may look impressive, but you must be able to use them to deliver quality lessons. Step 5 explains how to do this.
Step 6: Keep Up to Date Technology changes daily. Managing this moving target is a challenge for busy teachers. Step 6 shows teachers how to stay on top of the latest changes in educational technology.
6 Steps also includes helpful tips from my own classroom experiences, and a glossary of teaching with technology terms to help you begin this new and exciting process. Let’s face it-our world is changing. It’s time to learn, adapt, and embrace teaching with technology!