Teachers, Throw Away the Old Playbook
New, old teachers: It doesn't have to be 'us vs. them'
Before I start to delve into this topic, I read an article about new teachers vs. old teachers. A veteran teacher was responding to a news article about a young, third grade teacher who was being praised for a job well done. The veteran teacher said, "Veteran teachers don't get the huge write ups ..." I agree with her, this is true. But also, we don't see headlines that read "17 Year Old Girl Writes Entire Research Paper on Type-Writer." I also don't mean to say that because a teacher's age is classified as old or older that they can't be amazing educators. In today's world, it is oh so important to be ready for change. Especially ready to adapt to new technology in the classroom. The new teachers entering schools had to opportunity to grow up with some of the latest technology and many of us are fluent with iPads, Smart Boards and apple tv's. As a final note, you can teach an old dog new tricks, if the dog is willing to learn. All teachers must be flexible and willing to move with the times to stay relevant in the classroom.
TED Talks: Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education
I hope you took the time to watch this TED Talks video. Sugata Mitra experimented with using computers as teachers instead of human beings. Yes he did use the "grandmother method" which is a person who encourages and praises students. This is something we as teachers should always do, encourage learning. I don't disagree that we can learn many things from computers and the internet, I see this video being more about self-directed learning than a computer teacher. It's been stated over the years that if kids want to learn something they will. What was most important from Mitra's experiment is that students wanted to learn and they used resources like their peers and the internet. This is one way that we can "Throw out the old playbook." Allow students the freedom to learn in different ways.
Just 1 way to use technology in the classroom
I managed to make the above video in about 30 minutes. I used goanimate.com where with the free user account I was able to type in text, record my voice, choose characters, and a background. While the video is really cheesy, I had fun making it and problem solving to figure out who spoke when. Also, I found it an enjoyable way to view information as opposed to a powerpoint or lecture. This is just one way to add a new play to the playbook. Students could use this site to present research information or share ideas.
I made this video to share a few more stats about technology in the classroom. As you can tell by the watermark, I used videocrisp.com. This site had tons of options for a free user. This is something I could definitely use in my classroom. In fact my music students could compose the background music in garage band and then make a commercial to go with it! The opportunities are endless when we factor technology into the mix. So when I start teaching, I'll be writing my own playbook that will continually change with new ideas and technology.