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.
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?