I came across this great blog via busy teacher: ‘Nine Types of Teachers’.
In this post, Alex Strike illustrates there are 9 types from Newbie to ‘A Fellow’. In writing TechnoTeaching we were not sure how to make the framework come to life. Jules and I tried different ideas but in the end we decided on three archetypal characters. You will have to wait to meet Melissa, Zayid and Jasmine until the 6th of May when the book is published, but I would like to share their ‘birth’ with you (without any screaming or sweating… well maybe a ‘glow’).
I think it was me – correct me if I am wrong Jules – that came up with the three skeletons. The three types of TechnoTeacher. Jules came up the real flesh and bones. These were based on those around us. Unlike the 9 types of teacher that students love/ hate, we looked more at what we knew about them in the staffroom then the classroom.
We know that teachers work in different ways, and actually, we only know what we are told or what we see. For example one head of department I knew never opened an email message. Her teaching assistant did this for her and no one knew about it! I also know of many teachers in their 30s who don’t really understand edtech, but use Facebook and can run up a quick presentation on an interactive whiteboard and are seen as Steve Jobs in their staffrooms. I also know of other teachers who really push the boundaries of technology and learning, but are reluctant to share what they know with their peers down the corridor. Instead they share ideas in a more intimate (and ironic) global level on Twitter with like-minded colleagues. What a crazy world we live in when a talented teacher is nervous about telling their line manager about how she inspires her students, because this will make her be teased and even bullied.
If you want to look at some more examples, whilst you wait for TechnoTeaching here are a few links to help pass the time:
1. Types of teacher http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTXunsNFJmA by IISuperwomanII (over 3 million views!)
2. 9 Types of Teacher – a different article http://www.theprospect.net/9-types-of-teachers-you-see-at-school-11363 aimed at students - I like the ‘How To Deal’ advice!
3. 20 types http://www.teachthought.com/interest/a-humorous-look-at-the-20-types-of-teacher/
4. WikiHow to deal with different types http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Different-Types-of-Teachers
It might be worth asking your peers and students what type of teacher you are. Go on…Dare you!
Jules weighs in on gray matter after attending a conference in Boston last fall titled “Engaging 21st Century Minds.” Here are a few thoughts.
We are hearing about the brain more than ever today. Turns out that it’s an even more fascinating organ than we first imagined, before the age of PET scans, which essentially make the brain transparent.
So while it’s fun knowing about “the language pathway” and the link between Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, we always need to ask ourselves two key questions as good consumers of research: So what? And what does it mean?
Educators at Edutopia have been giving the matter of gray matter serious thought. In their report “Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning” they zero in on these practices:
1. Create a safe climate for learning.
2. Encourage a growth mind-set.
3. Emphasize feedback.
4. Get bodies and brains in gear.
5. Start early.
6. Embrace the power of novelty.
In it, the authors explain, for example, how powerful the amygdala is (the part of the brain that processes emotions) and how it can block learning if it feels threatened. You’ll learn more about Carol Dweck’s research showing that children who have a growth mind-set are willing to plunge in, make mistakes, and see feedback as something positive. These students understand that intelligence isn’t a fixed commodity, but can be cultivated through hard work. You’ll see how student evaluations can become a rich learning opportunities, how exercise enhances brainpower, why preschool is so important for developing a child’s 100 billion neurons during the first 2,000 days of life (!), and how to provide the brain with the novelty it craves.
Which of these six practices are you already using in your classroom? Or in your own life to keep your brain sharp? Let us know!
Here you go - to download a free PDF of the report please click on the button below.
I wrote this article when Jules and I were trying to get all of our best ideas together. I reflected on the work I had achieved in a range of schools. As a school leader (and known geek) I was often asked for/ volunteered my views on budget, what resources to buy in and how to coach others. Here are my top ideas. In TechnoTeaching there is a chapter on Resources and how to get what you need. It is more detailed and we have fleshed out how to can apply for grants, work with businesses and beg / steal / borrow in style (without the stealing). The book is also a ‘Guide’ (as we initially called it). The idea is that you can read it and be introduced to a concept, then go into the classroom and see how it applies, then return to the book to build on this. And of course let us know how it all goes.
1. DO use Blue Sky thinking. The sky (or cloud - ahem) really is the limit.
2. DO be aware of your budget from the start. This is the initial factor in your plan.
3. Do get help. See who is in the staff room (or technician room) and charm the pants off them. If you have help, then go for a pincer movement. The more = the merrier.
4. Do be aware of what is going on outside of your classroom. It is a big, old techie world out there, full of wonderful teachers like you.
5. Do ask LOTS of questions. They are not silly questions if you learn from them.
6. Do try, try and try again. Then again. And once more for luck.
7. Do focus on what you are trying to achieve. If it is to get more devices in the classroom - do that.
8. If it is to encourage the students to try something innovative – DO that. If it is an attempt to accelerate their learning - try that. Separately. One at a time.
9. Do make sure that someone on the Leadership Team knows what you are up to. This can help with PR, time management/ cover if needed, and getting people on board.
10. Do organise your time SMARTLY. There is no reason you need to be working all the hours, all the time. Technology is meant to make things easier - for you too. When looking at how to integrate more, make sure you get on with others things too. Searching for new tech can equate to many working/window shopping hours if you aren’t careful. Trust me!
1. DON'T create barriers. Go for it!
2. DON’T See your budget as a fixed point. There are plenty of ways to add to this pot of gold.
3. DON’T try to be a pioneer on your own. There is absolutely no point.
4. DON’T get scared. You are doing this: Aspire. Commit. Breathe. It will be ok.
5. DON’T pretend you know it all. No one does when it comes to technology. You are the expert for your classroom. This means you need to be the biggest learner too.
6. DON’T waste time thinking about how you are going to do it - get on with it!
7. DON’T always go for the whistle and bells lesson. It is important to capture hearts and minds, but allow time for learners to reflect, embed and evaluate.
8. DON’T hide what you are doing. Instead of being locked into your classroom and laptop screen - move things into the corridors, speak up in staff briefings, get hold of the school websites/ blog and make your mark on things. Be proud of your TT geekiness!
9. DON’T let this override all other aspects of your life. You deserve one.
10. DON’T try to do everything as once. Build up the different TechnoTeaching elements as you build up your confidence. Slowly, slowly, catch your TechnoTeaching monkey.
Nicole Ponsford is co-author of TechnoTeaching. Due to be published by Harvard Educational Press on the 6th May.
Current research shows an explosion in the amount of time children in the US are spending in front of the TV and other “screens” on a typical day, 7 days a week. While in a 2004 young people, ages 8-18, spent an average of nearly 6.5 hours a day consuming media, in 2009 the level in creased by one hour and 17 minutes per day, with children and teens often using more than one form of media at a time according to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation Report[i] (not counting texting or talking on cell phones!).
What are children and adolescents doing in front of screens? Multitasking. The researchers, who studied over 2,000 young people across the US, point out that days of simply watching TV without other gadgets coming into play are long gone. Mobile phones and online media have proliferated over the years, with smart phones serving as a content delivery system. The upshot is that young people today have more opportunities to consume media than ever before, packing more experiences into the day—anytime, anywhere-- than we’d have thought possible a mere decade ago. More homes than ever have Internet access; more young people own their own cell phones than ever before.
Which groups of young people consume the most media? Two groups stand out. In terms of age categories, 11-14-year-olds (“tweens”) consume the most. In terms of demographics, Blacks and Hispanics showed higher levels of media use.
What are the implications for parents and educators? What types of conversations should we be having with young people about media (and multi-tasking)? What sorts of messages might they be receiving from video games and music? From TV content and movies? Let us know your thoughts on our social sites or post a comment below.
[i] Rideout, V.J., Foehr, U.G., and Roberts, D.F. (2010) Kaiser Family Foundation’s Report: “Executive Summary: Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18-Year-Olds.” http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf (Accessed September 10, 2012).
Dr. Julie M. Wood is co-author of TechnoTeaching - soon to be published by Harvard Educational Press.
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.