What Teachers should be able to do…

Guest post by Linda. @lindawollan

After reading the post 10 Things A Teacher Should Know How To Do, by Andrew Garcia, my colleague Ed asked me what I would put on a list of tech skills for our teachers. What things would come first? At our school, many teachers can do none of the things on Andrew’s list. Some can do a few. Some wouldn’t know what most of the list means.

It’s a great discussion to have. The successful use of tech tools comes down to a willingness to explore, either independently or at least what you’ve been shown.  You need to be willing to try new things, and willing to put in some time. The particulars depend on the needs of your class. If you are an active user of a class blog or wiki, then you need the  appropriate tools and should be motivated to learn them. At the very least, collaborate with your friendly tech support teacher to make sure your students don’t miss out!

My list looks something like this:

  • Know what a blog is and start reading some – subscribe to those that interest you.
  • Spend personal time exploring the tools you have been shown, to reinforce your learning.
  • Create a wiki or blog for your own class (it’s a big ask to expect both, though both have a role).
  • Be able to embed video and web tools in a blog or wiki.
  • Take the initiative in looking for/locating appropriate tools for your students by… starting at point 1 again.
  • Knock down your classroom walls – collaborate with people outside your school using eg Skype or Voicethread.
  • Join Twitter – get the best PD of all from the contacts you make in the educational community all over the world.
    double standard

Of course as well as knowing about Web 2.0 tools, make sure the basics are in place. So before we even get to the list above:

  • Know your way around Office tools
  • Read/use your email regularly. Know how to set up a group in email (your first group should be your class).
  • Be able to use the school intranet proficiently.
  • Use the multimedia tools that come with your interactive whiteboard. Make it a student tool as well.
  • Be a confident web user – be able to search efficiently.
  • Understand copyright issues on the web, and make sure your students are copyright aware.
  • Use online bookmarking, so that your bookmarks are available wherever you are

So- What’s on your list?


17 thoughts on “What Teachers should be able to do…

  1. I love this idea of top ten. I have been thinking recently that I have been a bit ad-hoc in my approach to staff training in this area but I am happy to say I have covered nearly all the points you mention although I also acknowledge that I have tried to teach some of the first few without ensuring your second list is covered. Interestingly, tomorrow my techie brekkie is on delicious and diigo, as I recently became aware that many of my fellow teachers internet usage and bookmarking was a total mess. I am going to sit down with this list and check where I am personally at and where I am trying to take others too.


    1. Hi Emily – I like your suggestions. As soon as this was posted I started thinking of more that could be added, eg saving digital images from camera, and resizing them for web; same for movies on our Flip cameras. So much that a computer user picks up over time.


  2. The list could be daunting.. but as a colleague of both Edna and Linda … I am pleased that willingness to learn, explore and try is on the list.. Thank goodness as I have not done too well on the others. I love the cartoon… it’s do as I say not do as I do!!
    Now where to start?


  3. Great post This quote came to mind.
    ” The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.”
    Baker, Newton D.


  4. This was a great article and I agree with many of your points. I have a heavy desire to forward it to my principal in the hopes that he will join me in the small techy revolution I am trying to conjure up at my school.


    1. Do forward it to your principal. We run a voluntary breakfast group every week or two an hour before students arrive, where teachers can learn about teaching with technology. Its usually hands-on learning, but sometimes we just show a website/video as a stimulus to discussion of teaching and learning. Our principal provides bagels for breakfast as a sign of his encouragement.


  5. Both lists are great! After being a part of a PLN for the last nine weeks I am exploring most tools on the lists and learning so much. Thanks!


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