Microsoft Innovative Educator

Microsoft Innovative Educator

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Teacher Relevance

The start of the school year has been busy. No surprise there! My only regret is that in the process of preparing for a new year and new opportunities, I have not had time to blog. But guess what? Now I'm back! I did make time for my favorite group of professional learners, #satchat, on Saturdays. Today's topic was "Teacher Relevance in an Era of #EdTech" (educational technology). This Blog is Why our focus must remain on the important role of teachers/educators even in a technologically advanced society.

Summer Reading Blog #8
http://www.middleweb.com/24360/the-5-best-times-to-use-technology-in-class/
Twitter: @pattigrayson

The discussion today made me think about the many students/learners that I encounter and how I can make a difference, even when they have a wealth of information at their fingertips. I am sure this argument is waging somewhere in schools or communities right now. How much technology is too much (or not enough)? I think that technology has enhanced the learning experience. Teachers/Educators have immediate access to information, strategies, or resources that can be used to support current standards and curriculum. There are so many great ideas that there is guaranteed to be something for every teaching style, population demographic, and classroom environment. And finding that information only requires the teacher to log on. No travel expenses, minimal wait time, and it can be tailor-made to your needs. How awesome is that? Of course access to information or even technology does not guarantee success or student achievement. The teacher's role is still important and relevant. The teacher is there to foster collaboration, teach critical thinking skills, presentation skills, and explain how essential it is to evaluate content for its validity. No matter what level you work with: elementary, middle, high, college, or even adult learners; these are valuable components to instruction.

In Patti Grayson's article (in the link above), she explores when technology should be used in the classroom as a tool to SUPPORT instruction and the teacher. During the discussion today, that was a key point: Technology is not the end-all-be-all, it is a tool. It should enhance instruction, not take the place of great teaching.

My big take-aways from the reading:
1. Great minds think alike: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and celebration; many of these were mentioned in the chat!
2. The #edtech classroom is not about technology being the central focus, but rather when can it be used to enhance the student learning experience--which IS the central focus.
3. NoodleTools---I need that for my Reading classes when they do their research projects!

Resources:
Thank you to @Media_Barber for sharing take-away skills for students in the #edtech classroom:

Thank you to @DJFTLL and @cheinesch for sharing "11 Ways for Engaging Students' Brains":

What are your thoughts? Do you think teachers still have relevance in today's classrooms/schools?

You can also connect with me on Twitter @MsClassNSession or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/principalsdj.
Post comments or subscribe by email to www.thisblogiswhy.blogspot.com as I continue to share my summer reading list.

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