Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Are you the 21st century teacher?

I made a self assessment here in this post to see if I am prepared for our exponentially changing school system and ready to face our new generation of students called "Millenials".

How about you, do you want to know if you are a 21st century educator? Thanks to the Educational Origami, see for yourself...

The Adaptor
- Harnessed as we are to an assessment focused education model the 21st Century Educator must be able to adapt the curriculum and the requirements to teach to the curriculum in imaginative ways.
- They must also be able to adapt to a dynamic teaching experience. When it all goes wrong in the middle of a class, when the technologies fail, the show must go on.
- As an educator, we must understand and apply different learning styles. we must be able to adapt our teaching style to be inclusive of different modes of learning.

The Visionary
- They must see the potential in the emerging tools and web technologies, grasp these and manipulate them to serve their needs. If we look at the technologies we currently see emerging, how many are developed for education?

- The visionary teacher can look at others ideas and envisage how they would use these in their class.
- The visionary also looks across the disciplines and through the curricula. They can make links that reinforce and value learning in other areas, and leverage other fields to reinforce their own teaching and the learning of their students.

The Collaborator
- Ning, Blogger, Wikispaces, Bebo, MSN, MySpace, Second life - as an educator we must be able to leverage these collaborative tools to enhance and captivate our learners.

- We too, must be collaborators; sharing, contributing, adapting and inventing.

The Risk taker
- You must take risks and some times surrender yourself to the students knowledge.

- Use the strengths of the digital natives to understand and navigate new products, have the students teach each other. The learning pyramid shows that the highest retention of knowledge comes from teaching others. Trust your students.

The Learner
- We too must continue to absorb experiences and knowledge. We must endeavour to stay current. I wonder how many people are still using their lesson and unit plans from 5 years ago.
- To be a teacher here you must change and learn as the horizons and landscape changes.
- The 21st Century teacher or educator must learn and adapt.

The Communicator
- To have anywhere anytime learning, the teacher to must be anywhere and anytime.

- They are fluent in tools and technologies that enable communication and collaboration.
- They go beyond learning just how to do it, they also know how to facilitate it, stimulate and control it, moderate and manage it.

The Model
- We must model the behaviours that we expect from our students. Today and tommorow more so, there is an expectation that teachers will teach values.
- We, are often the most consistent part of our student life. Teachers will see the students more often, for longer and more reliably than their parents. This is not a criticism of the parents rather a reflection.

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