Sunday, November 29, 2009

NETS to be a good educator?

The NETS for teachers and administrators describe great teaching principles; but the only addition to these guidelines is the word "digital tools/age." If you read the document without the technological element; you still have great teaching described.

Good teaching may occur regardless of the technology. It has to be understood that the digital piece is a tool which enhances teaching and learning; but it is not solely what makes great educators. As educators, regardless of technology, we attempt daily to "facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity." Yes, we can improve our teaching by going beyond paper and pencil, but it is not what makes us good educators. The same idea applies with the administrative description; I hope as a teacher to work with an administrator who has "visionary leadership" despite the digital tools!

I reflect about my own experience as a student in an international school; where 20 years ago technology was not greatly integrated in classrooms. I remember and admire several of my teachers who enhanced their teaching in other ways. Now, as a teacher myself, I have learned to use and give credit to the digital tools which have improved my teaching (and plan to continue to use them!); but I don't think that is the only tool that makes a good educator.

Learning Technology and Information Literacy...

Learning technology and information literacy is a collaborative effort. It is a shared responsibility to teach it effectively. It needs to be integrated and articulated effectively within all subjects curricula and across grade levels. As we do with any other skill, it needs to be taught accordingly to students' needs and assessed effectively to ensure that students are learning. This responsibility can not lay on one department.

Teachers need the time to learn and feel comfortable with new tools. Change takes time, but if teachers experience that technology could be used in a meaningful way to enhance learning and teaching; then they will feel it is worth to put the time and effort to apply it. It is only by experimenting with these tools that motivates teachers to learn more and integrate it into their lessons.

Technology is part of everyone's lives now. It is a powerful means of expression and communication. Students and teachers learn about it daily; the challenge is not only to learn about the tools, but to use them effectively in our teaching. It requires time, support and as any other content in an effective curriculum; constant revision.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Teaching NETS and AASL

The NETS and AASL share common philosophies; they are part of a whole. These can not stand in isolation because they should be a key element of a whole curriculum. Teaching these is a shared responsibility. Teachers; regardless of the grade level or subject area must give learners the means and tools to be able to show their knowledge and to make learning more meaningful. This shared responsibility should not limit to the classroom; ideally parents should be familiarized with them as well to support better their children at home.
If these standards are part of our curricula; then the real challenge is to assure that they are being taught in the most effective way.
These last couple of years; I have been lucky to have tech support in my class. It has been a taste of what these tools could do to enhance language learning; it proves that it is not one department's or grade level's responsibility; but they should be taught in collaboration.