2 Replies| Latest reply: Jul 12, 2012 6:46 AM by kevann RSS
 
lynnettest Beginner

Preparing for the Future of Teaching

I’ve been out of the classroom for seven years now and am planning on pursuing my career in teaching once again. Watching my seven year old daughter grow up in such a high tech world, has convinced me that I am in need of a “brush up” on more current technologies available to classroom teachers and students.  I’m preparing by taking graduate level courses that focus on technology integration.  My current course is focusing on communication and collaboration utilizing Web 2.0 tools. There is some really compelling information there that leads me to believe that most of teaching will soon be done virtually. Students seem to be asking for this. The old delivery method available within four walls is now accessible anytime and anywhere via the internet. Students are so at ease communicating via digital text that they’ve developed their own shortened language of acronyms to facilitate a quicker method of delivery of their thoughts. OMG! This seems to be their preferred methods of communication. Everyday students seemed to be so engaged and buried in their smartphones and glowing screened technologies. I’m beginning to feel that I will also need to prepare to become a better facilitator of learning and maybe even one who can do so effectively in a virtual online classroom environment. It amazes me to see this evolution of teaching take place right before my own eyes. I’m in the middle of it and need to prepare. The future is always a bit uncertain but I’m excited to see where the teaching profession will take me next.

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  • liztrimaloff TeacherEffectiveness
    Preparing for the Future of Teaching

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience.  I truly appreciate how you seem to have embraced the technical evolution.  I hope that some of our other teachers can share how they have integrated technology, and learned how all of it works!  Your students are fortunate to have you.

  • kevann Beginner
    Re: Preparing for the Future of Teaching

    Your sense that the role of the teacher is changing to one of being more of a facilitator is right on target given the high investiture in technological methodologies and strategies that are being developed at a rapid rate.  That is also being driven by the decrease in funding that has been apparent in education nation-wide resulting in the elimination of teaching positions and the increase in class sizes, particularly in the public schools.  The combination of both of those realities has fostered a renewed interest in online education as an approach to help provide students with more of a 'one on one' focus that is rapidly disappearing from the traditional 'brick and mortar' educational setting. 

     

    There are plusses and minuses to the new approach that will need to be considered if this at least partial transfer to virtual learning is to become successful. Among the concerns is the lack of the face to face socialization and mentorship that normally occurs in school, and secondly the lack of physical supervision that is also a factor with online learning.  Both of those issues will need to be dealt with by the development of strategies that will allow for student contact and an increased sense of accountability on the part of the students.

     

    On the positive side, virtual learning allows for the opportunity for multiple sources of information that often are not available in the traditional school setting as well as more of a self-paced approach which is also becoming less viable in the traditional school setting for most populations given the increased demand for time to be spent on ancillary types of activities and less time spent on actual learning.

     

    I am in my 4th year of teaching AP Art History online in addition to my regular in-school teaching (I am entering into my 41st year of teaching), and recognize that challenges exist in both arenas that are unique to each setting.  One thing that never changes, however, is that your learning curve as a teacher continues to grow which absolutely keeps teaching both a challenging as well as an engaging profession.