It could perhaps be tempting to fall into a trap of repetitive teaching and learning; using tried and tested strategies that we know have helped students to be successful in the past. Whilst this has its positives, and often offers reassurance, the beauty of being in this profession is the organic nature that is teaching and learning. You’ve got to love how new topics, skills and emerging student needs can create opportunities to adapt or rethink the resources or strategies that we use.
Digital literacy: I’m sure you’ve been told this is important for students in the 21st Century. But did anyone mention it’s also important for teachers too? Believe me, it is! Digital literacy is about digital skills, skills which help you use tech, create with tech and be safe using tech. So obviously as students increase in their use of technology we have to support them in how to use it wisely, correctly and safely. The same applies to teachers.
Implementation of digital content seems to be widely misunderstood. You can’t just drop in a sophisticated digital programme without a really good implementation program. Like with everything in education, it comes down to the person. If teachers are ill-equipped to use new programs, they will fall back on traditional teaching methods.
We are living in the era of innovation where innovative minds are the determinants of their nations’ futures. 21st century learners should acquire the needed skills for the projected innovation era that is emerging. Education nowadays is confronted, like never before, by the challenge that is how to prepare learners for a relatively unpredictable future. With the ubiquitous impact that technology has, educators hold hope that this impact will be the silver bullet for the aspired education reform. However, the integration of technology in learning is still undergoing a renovation process.
When James [Cain, Editor] contacted me and asked me to write a blog post about how I use Star Wars in the classroom, my first reaction went from, “this is awesome” to “uh… what am I going to write about?”. You see, I am an Advanced Placement (AP) World History teacher in Rocklin, CA, and although my classroom is littered with posters, toys and miscellaneous Star Wars gifts from students throughout the years, I questioned if I was qualified to write a post about Star Wars and my teaching.
Collaborative learning is on the up. All around us there are blog posts from excellent teachers, research from expert academics and articles from around the world, but so far something has been missing. We know the benefits of true collaboration and ideas on how to encourage it in the classroom, but do we know how we can assess the tasks themselves? Setting the right task is key for encouraging effective collaborative learning.
Computer programming and coding as a topic can be viewed as dry, so it is essential that schools deliver the new curriculum in a creative and exciting way. It is also a great chance for teachers and pupils to break the stereotype of computer programmers. The person to invent the first compiler (programme) was, in fact, female, so do shout out equality in order to encourage the right sort of creative thinkers in this growing global industry.