Teaching Revisited

I really enjoyed the article Teaching in Social and Technological Networks.  Siemens discusses modelling as a teaching practice.  “To teach is to model and to demonstrate.  To learn is to practice and reflect.”  I really liked that.  I think that we have done a lot of that this semester in the form of our blogs.  Reflection is a great way to demonstrate that you’ve learned something from what you have read.  It was interesting to read that modelling has its roots in apprenticeship.  When he addresses that an apprenticeship addresses the process of becoming a carpenter, plumber, or physician – teachers also come to mind, as they have to do their student-teaching for a semester to learn about classroom management. (Siemens, 2010)

Do the teachers in the group feel that one semester of student-teaching is enough to prepare you for classroom instruction?  I would think that in order to become truly comfortable in the practice of “becoming” a teacher that more time actually performing the duties required of the job would be beneficial.

I think internships are also a form of apprenticeship.  I have seen some interns only learn how to file and make copies but I’ve also seen interns really get to perform job tasks that could not be learned in a course.

In the blog post, Teachers as Master Learners, Will Richardson discussed the topic of modelling also.  And with his commentary he addresses how students need to learn how to learn and to do that teachers need to be able to show students how to learn on their own and for them to create new ideas and not replicate old ideas.  I agree, if people never tried to do new things and learn more – we wouldn’t be having a course on emerging Web 2.0 technologies. (Richardson, 2012)

Based on the two texts that we read, what do you see as the major challenges facing educators in any arena in terms of balancing self-development and teaching?

One challenge I see is time.  When a teacher does not have a lot of time built into their day for lesson planning that work is then carried home to work on after school.  Speaking in terms of technology, I think it would be great if school districts could offer access to Lynda.com tutorials to their teachers. While the license might be costly, it could end up being a cost savings if having off-site trainers come in to deliver these types of trainings were eliminated.  Saving professional development days for workshops on how to implement the technologies into the classroom.  By using the tutorials teachers could learn and keep up to date with many types of technology.  This service has training in Facebook and Twitter, web productivity tools such as Dreamweaver and Photoshop, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and so many more.

As an example the Word 2007 Essential Training module is a 7 hour course.  But it is broken down into 30 minute sections and each video is usually only a few minutes in length.  Teachers would be able to take these trainings in smaller sections to allow a balance between work/life.  Then if teachers understood how to work the technologies in addition to receiving instruction on the implementation of the technologies into the classroom, they might be more willing to use them.

What are some ways in which you believe you could achieve this balance in your professional context?

I have applied to Boise State University for a Master’s of Educational Technology degree.  I chose to go with another university because Penn State’s current program was designed mostly for licensed teachers, to enhance their technology skills in the K-12 environment.  It is my hope to become an Instructional Designer to start and then someday I hope to teach online.  I haven’t ruled out taking a teaching certificate program in the future.  I’d love to teach at the elementary level – but that’s not in my plans right now.

Knowing what my career plans are I know that I will have to keep up with technology.  I believe that the balance will be found in researching best practices and tools to use in the environment that I will be working in.

One thing I’ve learned this semester is that you can get caught up in so many different Web 2.0 tools that you could absolutely become consumed with them if you allowed it.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogging, Diigo the list goes on and on.  I don’t think it’s feasible to implement and use each tool in every situation.

Works Cited

lynda.com software training & tutorials – latest releases. (2012). Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://www.lynda.com/Member.aspx

Richardson, W. (2012, February 24). Weblogg-ed » Teachers as Master Learners. Weblogged. Blog. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://weblogg-ed.com/2010/teachers-as-master-learners/

Teaching in Social and Technological Networks « Connectivism. (2010). Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=220

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