Thursday afternoon. Our presenter was Lisa Byrd from Hot Springs, Arkansas. This session was billed as being about how to use technology in the classroom, which I already do, but I was hoping to get some new ideas.
After introducing herself by way of explaining her own journey into technology, Lisa explained that a 21st century teacher is someone who doesn’t ask kids questions they can simply google; they ask kids to explain or analyze. They also need to understand that every student in every school has grown up with technology. To illustrate, she showed a video clip of a baby treating a magazine like a touch screen.
She outlined the steps to becoming a 21st Century teacher:
-Use an RSS feeder. It’s a way to collect news off the web and supply it in one package, making surfing the web more efficient.
-Use videos online. There’s YouTube, of course, but also TED, School Tube, Teacher Tube and others. You should seriously consider using a video downloader for this. It’ll save the stress of having your videos blocked by your school’s software.
-Bookmarking. Everyone already knows how to bookmark a site on a computer, but there are ways to bookmark something on your home computer and access it on your school computer. Live Binders is one way; so is Pinterest.
-Blog and Tweet. You’re obviously familiar with blogging. Twitter is basically “micro-blogging.”
-Go to a virtual educational conference. EdWeb.net has these.
-Use the cloud. Save all your stuff on Google so it’s always there using any device. As long as you’re always connected, of course.
-Subscribe to podcasts.
-Be willing to learn from your students. There are new tools coming out all the time and the only way to stay current is to keep asking.
Lisa strongly emphasized the need to teach and reinforce proper on-line etiquette. Students need to completely understand the consequences of putting something on-line that might compromise their future.
I enjoyed the session. Most of the tips and sites I’m already familiar with, but sometimes it’s good to be told I’m already on the “cutting edge.”