September 15, 2013 by Brad Currie
I must admit, shamefully, that when I started teaching computer applications and social studies in September of 2001 I didn’t know how to use PowerPoint. It was part of the curriculum and I needed to figure it out. Making excuses and saying students didn’t need to know how to use it was not an option. At the time this was a very useful tool that enabled users to get their point across clearly. I needed to acclimate myself to the program and over time I did.
Fast forward to September 2014 and the same sort of PowerPoint scenario rings true for myself and educators around the globe. On a daily basis, thousands of new web tools are being blasted out ripe for the picking as a way to engage students in meaningful learning activities. Yet some, including myself from time to time, are reluctant to see any educational value. We make excuses and fail to empathize with students who could use them to show what they know or the potential they have for connecting and collaborating.
Educators who are true lead learners model risk taking and trying new tools of the trade in order to be innovative and forward thinking. With this comes a culture that is supportive and provides educators with the autonomy to do this on a consistent basis knowing that failure may arise. Another key component of trying new things is the act of educators expanding their personal learning networks through learning vehicles like Twitter. This is where the sharing of new tools and ideas take place. This newly acquired knowledge can then translate into classroom application and help promote the success of all students.
So what do you say out there people. Lets find a new web tool, teaching strategy, or technology innovation that will push the envelope and make everyone better. Try it out and see its full potential knowing that it will impact student comprehension and possibly improve your craft as an educator. Be the change and share the wealth.