Mark Martin, aka "Urban Teacher", does much more than working as an ICT teacher in a London secondary school. He sees his role as that of a true technology evangelist working in the education system, and is passionate about getting the most innovative technologies into the hands of learners.
In these roles, he has noticed widening gaps between the needs and capabilities of all the stakeholders he encounters – teachers, students and their parents and the programmers and app developers supplying schools with software and content. Keen for these gaps to not widen further, Urban Teacher is very passionate about reducing the distance between schools and the wider world of technology.
[Original published on 30th June 2015]
When I first started teaching ICT most people said that it is one the easiest subjects to teach because students like playing on the computer. This is totally not the case; there is a big difference between playing on a computer for leisure purposes compared to passing an exam or coursework. The boundaries and guidelines teachers and students need to go through is strenuous and cause lots of teachers to spoon feed students through the learning process.
After working in the education system for last ten years, and teaching in a range of different schools, I have noticed many teachers and departments isolated in their own practices and areas of the school. I was fascinated when I read a quote from Professor John Hattie which stated:
"Too many teachers believe the essence of their profession is autonomy. We hardly ever get together and look at each other’s teaching or practices."