Are you a 21st Century Teacher? Educator? Or are you just a 21st Century Lurker?
What makes you a 21st Century Teacher? Do you promote essential 21st century skills in your classroom? Do you use authenic assessment? Is your classroom a "Flipped" Classroom? Have you taken any of the Intel Education Element courses? What makes an educator a 21st Century learner?
Or are you a "self-proclaimed" Lurker waiting for the right moment to that that big step? According to Wikipedia, a lurker is a person who reads discussions, on a message board, newsgroup, chatroo, file sharing, social networking site, listenging to people in VOIP calls such as Skype, Adobe Connect or other interative systems, but rarely or never participates activitely.
What are the big steps? How do you get started? What is stopping you?
Share your ideas, thoughts and experiences.
Honestly, I would have to say I'm both. I don't own a cell phone, but I do use my desktop to visit forums, etc., usually to glean information on how to troubleshoot a tech problem.
However, having said that, I would claim to be a 21st Century Teacher in the way I am using technology to teach music. For instance, today I used my document camera to demonstrate how to use Virtuoso, a free piano app, on the iPad. I then let some students create songs using the black keys of the keyboards, both virtual (on 3 iPads) and electronic. This is reinforcing their learning the do pentatonic scale.
Vanessa, over the past several years I have become a 21st Century Teacher. I used those applicable skills in my music class, from students researching a topic to creating a music video of their own. Today, I can't imagine NOT having access and using the Cloud in my work, both on my computer and my phone.
I believe I am a 21st century Teacher. I still have a lot of learning to do, so I feel I'm a 21st century learner as well.
The BIG STEPS are just that -> Jumping in with both feet! I don't always know how my application of technology will work out in my classroom. I always hope for the best and am elated with pretty much ANY progress after trying something new. Sometimes I'm the only one progressing, but that's ok. Because the next time around I will do a better job and my students benefit (if from nothing else) from the simple act of watching me "try, try, try again". Two years ago I joined a technology cohort in my district and every month we tried different activities with our classrooms. We focused on implementing technology in Math and Science first. Then I stuck with the things that I felt comfortable doing and looked for ways to apply those technology enhancements in other areas like Reading and Social Studies. By the end of the year I had integrated computer learning software into every subject area in my 1st grade classroom.
This year I have expanded my knowledge and application of technology in my room to include my own special classroom management, numerical fluency singing and dancing videos, and even watching videos I record of them to discuss appropriate behavior during centers.
Sometimes I fall off the technology wagon and only have one item of technology going in my classroom for the whole week instead of integrating lots of stuff. Then I catch my breath, think of a new wild idea to try, and jump in again with both feet. It's a constant trial and error for me right now because there aren't any programs that we have at our school blending/implementing/integrating technology seemlessly across all curriculum. So, I blend/implement/integrate as best I can.
I would have to ride the fence and say both. I "lurk" for the good ideas, but I put into practice what I learn. This year we have used iTalk, ShowMe, and Puppet Pals to create reading responses to books. We have used Blabberize to create Biography reports and do introductory hooks to the Civil War. Voice Thread was an amazing find and was used to introduce continent related material to different grade-levels and was followed-up by a Google Earth scavenger hunt. If anything, TS4 has taught me to take my lurking and turn it into practical application in the Library.
I think lurkers are just 21st century teachers who aren't quite "ready" yet. Someone recently commented that it is interesting to note that ELL students sometimes go through a mute phase. Could that relate to people who are learning the language of 21st century technology and spend a period of time lurking?
Vanessa - what a great discussion. I think there are many educators who like to lurk before trying something new. Maybe this will be their motivation to try something new.
I like to think that I just jump in and try new things but many times I might do so gradually. Like If I am looking for a new way for students to share information but I am not sure if there is one tool or way for them to share information I might give them a choice and let them choose how they complete the assignment. Then after seeing some of the work if there is a tool that just doesn't seem to work for that assignment I might drop that from a choice. For me if a tool has a good tutorial, FAQ's or online help then I am good with trying it with students.
If this discussion motivates you to make that leap- what did you decide to do differently in your classroom- I hope you will share your thoughts and ideas.
I posted this thread mainly to reflect on my own status. I have been a self-proclaimed lurker on Facebook for a few years. Slowly, I’m trying to move out of the “lurker zone”. I'm trying to post more newsworthy events instead of just pictures of my dog. I'm reading more and responding more also. With Twitter, I've been a super lurker for awhile. Mainly because most of the Social Media sites were blocked in our district for such a long time. At first, I didn't see the "educational" significance of Twitter, but one day I asked a co-worker for a resource. Within minutes, he was on Twitter and had about 20 resources for me. So after realizing the educational value of Twitter, I signed up for a Twitter account. Unfortunately, I just signed up for an account and never really engaged or used it until last night. Last night, I joined the Twitter EngageChat group and attempted to participate in the group chat. Since, I had never really twitted before, I really didn’t know what I was doing. I truly felt lost, when I didn’t see my post appear after I twitted, I was sure I was doing something wrong. I’m sure most educators, often have that same feeling when attempting to engage in new technologies. So after I felt that I had fell terribly at Twitting last night, I decided to seek assistance in getting started. With a 5 minute "big picture" overview of Twitter, now I feel I'm ready to jump into the Twitter world. It has been on my bucket list for some time and now I'm ready. I know many educators feel like I felt about Twitter, so the biggest advice I can share with everyone is like the Nike commercial....Just Do IT.
This is the most EYE OPENING post in the entire thread in my opinion! In my eyes you are like a 12 degree Black Belt of Technology! -Like a master Oogway (from Kung Fu Panda)! To read that you had difficulty with something technological is an awesome feeling! Not because I want you to have difficulties with technology, but because it helps me feel like I'm not alone in the struggle! It's nice to see that even as tech-savvy as you are, you still go through the same learning curve that newbie and moderate techies go through. In my head I guess I thought that eventually when you become a "Technology Master" you acquire a midas touch of sorts. So that everything technological just enters your brain through osmosis from your fingers through the computer keys! LOL! Maybe not, huh?
I decided this year to just dive into the 21st Century, no putting my toe i the water for me. I have taken my deaf Education classes into the 21st century with my reading and language arts clases. I have a split day, where I work with elementary school hearing impaired students in the morning, and middle school profoundly deaf students in the afternoon. During my morning, specialized reading, classes I use an ipad to improve student's speech, reading, vocabulary, comprehension, and language skills. I utilize either an ipad or a computer during each class period. Students ar totally absorbed in everything they do on the ipad and come to the activity with open minds ready to learn. With my afternoon Reading/ Language Arts classes, we have gone completly virtual. I use a Wiki page for the students to do homework, read, write papers, and keep up with class grades. I have parents involved in that they have to sign all the work students complete at home. My class does all its work on the computer, writing, editing, reading, drawing, power point, movie making, and anything else we could do with paper pencil. We also use an ipad during expressive language times for videotaping, and editing what was said. My class is becoming comfortable using various programs on the computer. Right now we are making a video about hearing technology. This has been a great experience vidotaping, putting vido into a movie making program, and then editing the movie. Going ito the 21st century takes a lot of time on the teacher's part, but as the students learn more life becomes easier. The students absolutely start loving what they are doing, and making.
Wow, Ms. Dickinson. You do a lot with your special needs students. Love your ideas and the resources that you use. We are having an Intel Teach Live webinar on Adaptive Technology. We would love for you to attend this webinar and add your input. It will be the last Tuesday of the month in May beginning at 7:00 CST.
Thanks for sharing,
I have always had a fondness for technology in the classroom but this year I am truly becoming an ORGANIZED 21st century teacher. I am using technology like computers, websites, iPads and livescribe pens to increase student engagement and teacher productivity. At first it seems like a lot of work to get started but if you take baby steps you will see how technology will make your life easier and make your students more independent and prepared to work in the 21st century. My advice is to take baby steps and don't use or do things that aren't helping you. It will take time at first but some things will work better for you than others. As a result of the TechnoScientists group, my campus has started a TechnoMath group to focus on how technology can increase student success in the area of mathematics. I learn something new everyday and constantly share my knowledge with other teachers and friends. I even attended the SXSW Education Festival this year which focused on technology. I am grateful for technology and the positive effects it has had on my teaching and learning.
I'd say I'm a 21st Century Teacher. Here is an example: During the month of April I'm supposed to put my class's shopping mall on hold because we want to minimize distractions for the upcoming STAAR tests. The students were looking forward to their monthly opening of their stores and were disappointed about not being able to have one in April. Well, one of the stores had already posted some of their goods online (on our wiki and on a site they started) and I suggested that all of the stores go online and we'd invite my previous school to shop. Classroom teachers would receive 1000 Roth Bucks and could use it with their students however they'd like, including as incentives for working hard toward the STAAR test. If you want to check out the stores, go to our class wiki and log in as:
Eric, I just finished looking around the wiki and I must say I can understand why the students would rather be working on the wiki instead of taking a test. Those students are doing some very cool things. Did the students actually make some of the products for sale or buy them for resale? What a great way to work in a lot of standards in several curriculum areas?