Good teacher + technology = excellent teaching

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 | e-Learning pioneers

The e-pioneer regards good as bad when excellence is available.

“I’ve been a teacher for years and my tried and tested methods and tools are good enough for me,” some teachers may say when confronted with technology.

True, many teachers are good at what they are doing – but just imagine how much better they can be if they use available technology!  The different ways in which computers, interactive whiteboards and other technology devices can enhance the classroom experience are well documented.  Of course, it is agreed that these tools have little value, unless they are in the hands of skilled teachers.

Teachers may be good.  But they can be much better – in fact, excellent – when they embrace technology.

The task of the e-pioneer is to convince teachers of the value of technology.  During training sessions it is not enough to teach them which buttons to press.  Go beyond this point and help them to understand why and how technology can make a difference to their quality of teaching.  Show them the possible ways in which they can become better teachers; demonstrate to them the things they will be able to do with technology, which are not possible without it.

Our children deserve the very best.  Good technology is bad unless it is skilfully harnessed by excellent teachers.  The converse is also true – when excellent technology tools are available but not used, good teaching is just not good enough.

Click here for more food for thought for e-pioneers. 

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3 Comments to Good teacher + technology = excellent teaching

Mark C
Sunday, 3 October, 2010

I would like to relate two stories.

Recently I got excited about an idea of using Excel to do an investigation in Physics on balls moving down one incline and up another. I got the basic idea of one graph correct and then asked a colleague, Lorraine, to help me to get another part correct. This she did. Now to explain it to a few educators to try with their classes or in their classrooms. I got a good amount of resistance. I just felt that it would make more sense to get learners involved with their learning by manipulating their own data and in the process learning one or two things in Excel…too difficult. I tried to explain that using the skill with Excel comes up time-and-time again in other sections of Physics…..not convinced….too difficult for learners. Yet. These are the learners who will be going to tertiary institutions next year.

I also asked a language educator to get learners to send each other (internal) mails. They should do all the things they need to do to prepare a business letter and then mail it to her and their peers for critique….Nope.. learners will send each other dirty mails. My response was….Great! What an opportunity to teach learners about mail protocol. Everybody uses mails at work. Is this not a skill to be taught for tertiary institutions or work? How about signing up for Twitter to teach learners to communicate by paraphrasing messages without using mixit language? Nope? How about essays via blogging? Others can share their thoughts on it to improve it….Nope. If some facilitators don’t even want to blog…then?

TriciaGVSU
Sunday, 10 October, 2010

I am thrilled that you are so excited about integrating technology in education!

How would you go about talking these hesitant teachers who are somewhat set in their ways into integrating technology into their classrooms?

If you were able to convince them, what kind of support should be offered to them once it is implemented?

I agree with you that in order to be an excellent teacher, you have to harness all of the tools available at your disposal. In your experience, do you find that most teachers are doing this or not?

Kobus van Wyk
Monday, 11 October, 2010

Hi Tricia – happy to meet another person excited about integrating technology in education! Helping some teachers to become involved is a challenge, and requires a lot of patience. Of course, there are those who run with technology the moment you expose them to it! Ongoing support is essential … unless you do so, the enthusiasm wanes. The purpose of this blog is to provide encouragement and practical help to teachers. Please go through earlier postings and see if there is anything useful.

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