Recently changes have increased even faster and I forsee that over the next few years it will be even more scary/exciting (depending upon your view point).
Even though I embrace change it is still hard to continually learn new software and ICT tools. Some of the new things I have done over the last 12 months include:
- Using Google docs, including in the classroom to enable all students to add to a shared document
- Playing around with the LMS canvas
- Using a Facebook group and twitter account for my class
- Teaching students that use a range of BYOD devices and software
- Making my class (nearly) paperless
- Sharing all my teaching resources online pcsquared.com.au/psdd
- Creating videos of some of the key components of what I teach
- Having my students complete weekly feedback and reflection, starting my journey of learning analytics (see my post "Learning Analytics Part 2")
- Introducing a coding day incursion to reflect the need for a longer block of time to work on projects and coding activities
But my biggest challenge at the moment is not with learning new software and tools, it is that they are changing how I teach. I've realised that for most of my 20 years of teaching what I taught continually changed BUT how I taught it did not fundamentally change.
Some of the changes to my teaching I'm grappling with include:
- Paper-based materials often don't translate well to an electronic medium
- Technology gives students more control over what and when they learn, so learning is less of a teacher driven linear path. This means I need better ways for students and me to track their progress and see where this fits in the big picture/journey
- How to best use collaborative tools like Googledocs
- Teaching is still about relationships and storytelling, so how do you build these into an electronic/social media world where you are not face-to-face with the students?
- Learning doesn't/shouldn't just happen when students are sitting in a classroom with a teacher out the front (but this is what many students have been conditioned to expect)
- I don't want to teach googleable facts, I want to teach students how to ask questions and find answers
I don't have a picture of what learning will look like in the near future, but I think the best learning will soon start looking different.
I'm going to keep trying new ways to teach and learn. I expect to fail on occasion, but taking risks and learning from failure is one of the skills I'm trying to teach.
How is technology changing how you teach? I would love to hear ideas and suggestions.