Digital Trends Shifting the Role of Teachers
“I’m no longer giving 40-minute lectures four times a day and wondering which class got the raw deal, or collecting and grading exams only to discover too late that they weren’t getting it,” said Mr. Merkert, who rotates among small groups of students, each with a laptop wide open.
As increasing numbers of school districts go digital, many teachers are witnessing a simultaneous change in their roles. To be sure, some see it as simply traditional teaching in disguise, but others describe a seismic shift—from being the lone purveyor of information to assuming a new role of facilitator, coach, and guide.
image via flickr:CC | SMI Eye Tracking
When To Put The Tech Away In Your 1:1 (or Any) Classroom
Though failing to include any technology in the modern classroom is wrong, including too much, or employing it ineffectively, can be equally problematic. Having a list of specific instances where choosing to put away classroom technology is the right choice would certainly be nice, but like most pedagogical challenges it is also unrealistic. Oftentimes, it simply isn’t that easy to know whether to put it away or not., and the skill of making that choice develops over time – a bit like a callous.
At its best, technology enhances, extends or deepens the learning taking place. At its worst, it detracts, distracts, and otherwise frustrates you and your students. When these situations cannot quickly and effectively be remedied – without sacrificing your lesson’s learning objective – put the technology down and embrace the lesson.
The trick is to never let technology erode the relationships in your classroom…
image via flickr:CC | altopower
Tough Questions on Texting in the Classroom
image via flickr:CC | Stitch
- Does it make sense to ban texting if students ignore the ban and teachers back away from enforcing it? Can a ban be enforced? How about in a large course, can it be enforced then? Should it be enforced? What are the costs of enforcing a “no texting” policy? Public altercations with students that erode the climate for learning in the classroom? But texting itself erodes the learning atmosphere of classroom, doesn’t it?
- What about taking the “if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them” approach?
- Does texting show a lack of respect? Perhaps, but are students doing it because they want to disrespect the teacher?
pewresearch needs your answers:
According to our latest report on technology, teachers of low income students are much less likely than teachers of the highest income students to use tablet computers (37% v. 56%) or e-readers (41% v. 55%) in their classrooms and assignments.
Online Dating for Teachers: Finding the Right Classroom
If online dating works so well for people looking for love and happiness, maybe the same concept can apply to people looking for other types of fulfillment, say maybe even teachers looking for the right school to work at, and educators looking to hire the right teacher for their school.
myEDmatch, an education technology start-up based in Kansas City, is using the same principle behind online dating to create a matching service for teachers and schools.
The website allows teachers, both working and unemployed, certified and non-certified, to sign-up for a free online profile, and search for open positions at schools around the country based on their “fit” — this includes information you wouldn’t normally find on a school’s website, such as expected work hours, working environment, and a school’s educational and cultural values. The service promotes transparency for teachers, letting them review and compare schools much like a car buyer would in Consumer Reports.
Humor in the Classroom: 40 Years of Research
One thing about humor and learning is well-supported by the research: Humor positively affects levels of attention and interest. It’s a way to keep students engaged and involved with the course material. So if the concept is an important one, consider incorporating some humor.