I came across an interesting post yesterday about ‘the digital skills’ teachers should have.
It is a really useful list to think about – in terms of the kinds of direction we need to move in. However I worry about setting up the uses of new technologies as being part of the never ending ‘must do’ list to make teachers feel even more stressed than they already do. The list is very long and very comprehensive. I am sure many teachers would read it and agree they should know all those things – but then feel dismayed.
I think it’s great if teachers can produce their own digital resources and help kids to do so; wonderful is the teacher who can make, edit and upload audio files; or do the same with video. But these are things to learn along the way of doing projects – on a need to know basis. We need to concentrate on teaching and learning and then thinking about the technologies that may or may not enhance this. Technology – apart from in the case of ICT teachers – should not be the subject content – but the way of doing things.
Web 2.0 is great – we can share resources and expertise online; we do not even always have to have the expertise in our school or department – we can always ask for help in online spaces. We do not all have to individually be able to do everything. And we don’t have to do be able to embrace every technological possibility.
This is not a technophobe post; far from it. I live my life with my face in the Internet! But I am aware of how teachers need to feel confident in their own classrooms. An important thing for trainee teachers, is to help them feel confident with new technologies, to see their relevance in teaching and learning, to see a reason for moving technology from their social world into their professional world.
For me the important digital skills for teachers, is the ability to evaluate new technologies when they come out and when we are choosing which to use; the ability to work out copyright law and work within it; the ability to locate resources and the support needed to get going with them. Guy and I are hoping this book might help.
Sorry, but I worry about the sanity of our lovely teachers.
Anyhow here is a variation on the all our base meme.