Here is an article illustrating how Nicole has moved from being a teacher - to a teacher of teachers. Published by Teaching Scotland.
When did lesson plans and videos go from being an individual teacher’s intellectual property to becoming free content on the Internet? According to Michael Godsey in the Atlantic article I’ve been dishing about lately (“When the Computer Takes Over for the Teacher”), “Teachers like me are uploading onto the web tens of thousands of lesson plans and videos that are then being consolidated and curated by various organizations. In other words, the intellectual property that once belonged to teachers is now openly available on the Internet.”
First, take at look at sharemylesson.com, which goes by the slogan “by teachers, for teachers.” As Godsey points out, on this site, sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, you can access more than 300,000 free resources. Think of it! A quick glance shows resources for children ages 4 through 18, as well as materials for special populations (i.e., gifted and talented, students with disabilities, and English Language Learners). If these resources are half as helpful as they appear to be, they can save you umpteen hours of crating materials from scratch. But it’s the teacher’s judgment here that’s key, right? Automatons can’t really separate the wheat from the chaff, can they? No!
TeachersPayTeachers is similar to sharemylessons.com, but you may need to pay a fee. The good news, though, is that the money goes straight into the pockets of enterprising teachers.
TeachersPayTeachers has been up and running for the past 9 years and now has over 3 million users. I used it once myself when I suddenly found that I needed literature guides for 8-and 9-year-olds for several different titles, such as Jerry Spinelli’s Fourth Grade Rats. Although the guides needed a little work (e.g., a few spelling errors), they saved me untold hours at the computer.
So, in my case, I didn’t feel marginalized (and replaced) as a teacher. It was still up to me to find top-quality materials and adapt them for my students. I also discovered that you can also purchase many related materials, such as educational videos and assessment tools.
Teachers being replaced? Nonsense! Teachers using the best of the Internet? Now we’re talking.
In a recent post I referred to an article in The Atlantic titled “When the Computer Takes Over for the Teacher,” by Michael Godsey. I am completely over my fit of agita. But I decided to take my anxiety and use it to fuel my investigation of new, cool tools.
Let’s take Listen Current, a website that mines public radio and serves it up to teachers in the form of 3-5 minute clips with accompanying lesson plans and worksheets. When it comes to providing resources for teachers, Godsey quotes CEO and founder Monica Brady-Myerov as saying: It’s like the wild west right now, both in terms of online resources and educational technology. It’s why I quit my job [as a veteran award-winning public radio journalist], so I could ride out west.”
Okay. But where exactly is Brady-Myerov hanging out these days? Let’s take a look at Listen Current.
Today’s Listen Current, shows a daily menu of Current Events, ELA (English Language Arts), Science, and Social Studies. Clicking on Current Events brought me to a page with stories ranging from Gay Marriage, to Napoleon’s legacy, to the make up of atoms, to chimps that can cook––and more.
Each story has an enticing graphic and a link to more text, a way to listen and download resources (such as comprehension questions and Socrative assessments). Each day you can download a lesson plan for a current event; you can also sign up for a weekly roundup.
Just clicking through this site makes me feel curious and smart. It’s easy to picture how you would use these resources to get students excited about current events. I give Listen Current a thumbs-up, especially since it requires a good teacher to know how to leverage its potential in the classroom.
Give it a try!
Our Founder and Creative Director is also the Agony Aunt for Innovate My School and their 14K followers on Twitter. This month she has been asked to write about the challenges facing teachers today. Here is a link to her thoughts on the matter.
If you have any questions or queries for Nic, please comment below. She likes a challenge!
Once upon a time I entered the field of education as a wide-eyed optimist. As with most 18-year-olds, I was wildly idealistic. If I put my mind to it, I thought, I could learn all the educational theory and developmental psychology I’d need, along with tricks of the trade. If I worked hard, I would be able to deeply impact the lives of children growing up in poverty.
Here we are, many years later with an article in The Atlantic whose title alone gave me what Italians call agita--indigestion and stress: “When the Computer Takes Over for the Teacher,” by Michael Godsey. What?? This is a cruel joke, right?
Apparently not. “We’re at the point where the Internet pretty much supplies everything we need. We don’t really need teachers in the same way anymore,” says Godsey, an English teacher from California. “The relatively recent emergence of the Internet, and the ever-increasing ease of access to web, has unmistakably usurped the teacher from the former role of dictator of subject content,” Godsey continues. The old saying about teachers being more of the “guide on the side,” as students explore curated content, is more relevant than ever.
Yikes. What does that mean for today’s dedicated teachers? Does it portend being replaced by trained technicians? Are traditional teachers, who actually teach students drawing upon their vast knowledge base, soon to be as outmoded as the wooly mammoth? !
In today’s world, from online lesson plans to Listen Current, a website that compiles the best of public radio, teachers are integrating more of the Internet’s wealth of resources into their practice. In so doing, are they contributing to their own obsolescence? I sincerely hope not. I prefer to think that teachers are taking the best of the best, and integrating these resources into their curricula—in ways that only a passionate educator can imagine.
We’ll take a look at some of these tools in my next 3 posts...
What do you think? Please comment below or join us on our social media platforms to carry on the dialogue.
To get the latest blog straight to your device, please either use the RSS feed or enter your email below to subscribe.
This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.