Time for a change?

Sunday, December 19th, 2010 | Miscelaneous | 3 Comments

I’m neither a devoted Dr Phil follower, nor an Oprah fan, but something I recently saw on a live Oprah show made me think.  Dr Phil said it is good to “mix things up” sometimes, and to put his money where his mouth was, he shaved his mustache off right there on stage - after 40 years!

There goes Dr Phil's mustache!

What can you and I do to get out of our rut?  Try a new technology?  Or all you technology addicts out there: lock your laptop away for a week and give yourself some time to enjoy all the other wonderful things of life?

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What benefits will I reap when I cease resisting change?

Saturday, December 18th, 2010 | technology | 4 Comments

Teacher metathesiophobia – the fear of change – is a barrier to teaching and learning in the twenty-first century.

A fear of change – or even a reluctance to change – leads to stagnation.  It also results in wonderful teaching opportunities slipping through your fingers.

Imagine you were a teacher in the early nineteenth century.  The blackboard was invented in 1801 and appeared in classrooms shortly thereafter.  At the time these blackboards were in the category of high technology.  How would you have reacted to this new invention?  With the wisdom of hindsight you’d probably say that you would have embraced it immediately!  But what if you were comfortable with your existing teaching media and anticipated the way in which the new board would throw your routine into turmoil?  Should you have resisted change?  If you did not accept this change, just imagine what opportunities you would have missed!

The situation is not any different today with the introduction of modern technologies – computers, mobile devices, interactive classroom tools and the internet.  If you are willing to adapt to change and include these technologies in your arsenal of teaching tools, you will benefit both yourself and your learners.

Think about the ways it will help you:

The use of technology can enhance your teaching.

You will have a feeling of being in control in a classroom of learners who are already engaging with technology in one way or another.

Learners will respect you.

Now think about the way it will benefit your learners:

Learners love technology – using it in your lessons helps to hold their attention.

When you bring technology into play in your classroom you will be teaching learners in the way they learn best.

They will be equipped with technology skills required by the workplace. 

Are these not enough reasons why you should welcome the changes brought about by modern technology?

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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Do you fear change?

Saturday, December 18th, 2010 | Cartoons, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Is that how you feel about using technology in the classroom?

This cartoon was created by Kobus van Wyk, using ComixMakeBeliefs - use it to create your own cartoon.

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Why should I change the way I work?

Monday, April 27th, 2009 | laptops | 1 Comment

A laptop has the potential to change the way a teacher works.  But you may wonder: “What is wrong with the way I am working?  I managed fine till now – why should I change a winning recipe?

Change is not easy – particularly if you have worked hard to reach a zone of comfort.  You may balk at the idea of changing at a time when you are reaping the fruits of years of labour, having reached a point where your job makes fewer demands on you.

There are good reasons why you should consider changing the way you work.  The world around us is changing.

  • The way people communicate is changing – think about cell phones and email.
  • The way people find information is changing.
  • The requirements for preparing your learners for their future jobs are changing.

In a changing world you can not afford to remain static.  But there are more compelling reasons why you should accept the challenge of change.  Why did you become a teacher in the first place?  Perhaps you said: “I want to make a difference; I want to bring about a change in the circumstances of children.” Do you still feel that way?  If you do, do you seriously think that you will be able to bring about a change for others if you yourself are not willing to make a change in the way you are working as a teacher?

If teaching is just a job to you – a means of earning a living – change may not be your priority.  But if teaching is a mission, you will make whatever changes are necessary to meet the changing needs of your learners.

Learning to use a laptop may take a lot of your time.  You may not get immediate material compensation for this.  If you are a life long learner, if you want to be a better teacher, and if you don’t want to be left behind, you will make the effort to learn to use new tools.

If you find it difficult to make changes in the way you work, remind yourself: “Why did I start teaching in the first place – was it not to bring about a change?

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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