May 24

Why we need to shift the way we teach

Welcome to this week’s eLearning news and update.

I thought I would spend a few minutes talking about the WHY of eLearning.
Yes, teaching and learning in the 21st Century needs to be different, as is the world we live in is different. It is connected, and collaborative.

Do we need to change the way we have always done things??? Surely the way I have taught for the past 5, 10 20 or more years is still good enough??? Not so any more.

Our purpose as educators is not only to impart knowledge into the minds of our charges, but to prepare them for the world outside the school gates. Whether they are heading into a career as a doctor, lawyer, trades person or a job that hasn’t yet been created, the way they will be working is different.

Learning in the 21st Century is different – You have all seen by now the Karl Fisch – Shift happens video, and there are a heap of other videos out there which showcase how much things have changed and will change. Are we doing our students justice by teaching them the same way?

The following points are from Andrew Churches post on “Eight Habits of Highly Effective 21st Century Teachers”. Looking at the characteristics of what effective teaching should look like.
Teachers are the embodiment of lifelong learners, we know it is not a thing that stops once you leave school – so taking up the learning of new technologies is just another step for us on our journey of lifelong learning.

1. Adapting
We don’t need to rewrite the curriculum to create effective eLearning opportunities, you just need to adapt what you already have. You also need to adapt when the technology fails you 🙂 and show resilience, which the kids will also learn from.

2. Being visionary
Look at a range of technologies and approaches to eLearning, see what works for you and your classes. Look beyond powerpoint and internet searches

3. Collaborating
Blogs, Wikis, MSN, Ning, Second life, Twitter, RSS – we need to be able to use these tools to collaborate, not only with our students, but to put us in touch

4. Taking risks
Using the technology is all about risk taking. If you are not confident using the technology have a goal in mind, and work towards it, finding help where you can. Take the risk and use the students to guide you – they get such a positive experience from sharing their knowledge, you empower them to really deeply learn.

5. Learning
We expect our students to be life-long learners. Teachers, must continue to absorb experiences and knowledge, as well. as the learning environment is changing, so must our teaching style

6. Communicating
To have anywhere, anytime learning, the teacher must be anywhere and anytime. Although it may seem like a huge jump, we have to become users of the technology and communicate effectively with our peers, our leaders and our students.

7. Modelling behaviour
They show students the appropriate way to use technologies, effectively and ethically – a vital part of life in the 21stC as we have seen too often in the media – kids will get it wrong The use of reflective practice, whether reflecting on their learning and teaching, or sharing ideas with the global community

8. Leading
Whether they are a champion intergrating eLearning at all levels of their teaching, or taking small steps – t

Andrew Churches is Head of IT at Kristin School in Auckland. He has also revisited Bloom’s Taxonomy for a digital world.

Technology itself won’t make you a great teacher, but it can make great teachers even more effective in connecting with our students.

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Posted May 24, 2009 by Suz Arnott in category Uncategorized

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