Monday, 24 August 2015

Professional Reading, 15 characteristics of a 21st century teacher

Each week at HPSS we get given readings to do as part of our professional learning, this week we were given 15 characteristics of a 21st century teacher ( to read. The last three are ones that link to what I am trying to do as a teacher, why is coding important, why do I need to innovate, and to Keep Learning. While the other 12 are important and just as essential. I feel that these three make up some of what I am doing more of.

13. Code

While this one might sound complicated, coding is nothing but today's literacy. As a pencil or pen were "the tools" of the 20th-century, making it impossible to picture a teacher not capable to operate with it, today's teacher must be able to operate with today's pen and pencil, i.e., computers. Coding is very interesting to learn -- the feeling of writing a page with HTML is amazing! Even though I have ways to go, just like in every other field, a step at a time can take go a long way. Again, is a great resource to start with!

Coding to me has been important back from 1984 when we had the BBC Model B at home, this allowed us to start to see the power of computing and what it offered. A friday night activity was to go to the book store once a month to pick up the latest computing magazine for Mum to develop her knowledge of  programming the games that we could play, through this I learnt debugging, sitting beside Mum explaining that the code she just wrote in wouldn't work due to syntax problems. This has lead to a lot of time developing programs at Polytechnic as well as with schools now.

14. Innovate

I invite you to expand your teaching toolbox and try new ways you have not tried before, such as teaching with social media or replacing textbooks with web resources. Not for the sake of tools but for the sake of students!

Ever since I started using TED talks and my own activities based on those videos, my students have been giving a very different feedback. They love it! They love using Facebook for class discussions and announcements. They appreciate novelty -- not the new tools, but the new, more productive and interesting ways of using them.

Innovate, keep thinking of new ideas and write them down, keep a blog of the ideas. One of the greatest things I have at the moment is not the comment of "This is the way its always been done", Surely at some stage someone came up with a better way.

15. Keep Learning

As new ways and new technology keep emerging, learning and adapting is essential. The good news is: it's fun, and even 20 min a day will take you a long way!

As teachers we need to keep doing this, we need to keep learning. My latest is playing with google cardboard and thinking about how to incorporate this within school.

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