So, what do you offer a techie, a geek or a nerd as their birthday card? An augmented reality card! If you watch the video you can see how the future is going to develop in the classroom and at home. Augmented reality is going to play a greater role and we are going to have a lot of fun with what are now our print artefacts. We’ll have augmented reality cards, books, business cards, menus…You can see how science, art and literacy are bonding to create our new world. Is there at app for it? Yes! Try the birthday card AR.
In Australia teachers have the Professional Teacher Standards which are available on the aitsl site along with a great number of other documents which you can download to support you with working with the standards. On the site there is also plenty of material to engage with which will help you understand what the standards look like in the real world with real teachers and students. There are also the iPhone and Android My Standards apps which you can download so that you have the standards handy on your phone or tablet. I have done all of that and downloaded the Demonstrating Impact pdf from the aitsl site and Demonstrating a Professional Mindset pdf. Both of these are interactive workbooks for teachers to work with the standards. First, I need to get this all clear in my head and even though I have been looking at the standards for quite some time now, if I want to seriously engage with them and make a solid effort to reflect on what I am doing I need to organise the material very clearly in my head. Just looking at documents and reading it all isn’t how I learn to put standards into practice and know my content. I have started a Powerpoint about the standards because it is the best way I know of learning complex material using technology. As I play with the layout and animations on each slide I am thinking about the content I am displaying. As I choose colours, backdrops, order of presentation I am forced to think about what the content means. This image is my first slide . In real life it is animated and as the information comes up the content is revealed in a way that I am neither swamped nor intimidated by it. When my Powerpoint is finished and you can see what I am doing I’ll share it with you. I get students to present information I want them to learn. Sometimes they can just take a photo from the board but if I want them to involve themselves with the material I get them to create a presentation. I then start to get very particular questions about what something means or whether they have it right. Powerpoint presentations encourage you to consider each and every aspect of what you are presenting as you compose the material on each slide. It naturally forces you to break learning down into bitesize pieces. KeyNote on the MacBook does exactly the same thing. By using Powerpoint as a learning tool I become immersed in my learning. It is not a clockwork exercise where I can tune out because I am creating visual learning. My next step is to look at individual indicators in the seven areas of Professional Standards:
1. Know students and how they learn
2. Know the content and how to teach it
3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
4. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning
5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
6. Engage in professional learning
7. Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community
Anthony Robbins is a life coach and a motivational speaker and this quote really meant something to me when I read it. This is a follow up to yesterday’s post on mastering your classroom because if it takes 10, 000 hours of practice to master something then with 30 students and 30 devices we have to be careful how we implement and organise everything. No time for faffing! So I started thinking and, as it turned out I think THINK is a good way to keep your technological classroom under control and vibrant:
T Time your information, presentations, activities. H Hone your skills and theirs. Be good at what you do. I Innovate and inspire. Don’t fear change. N Nudge them along and nudge yourself to do something different.. K Know what you are doing and what you want to achieve.
In his sociological studies book the Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell states we have to do something for 10 000 hours before we master it. For arguments sake, if you teach 30 1 hour lessons a week that will be1230 hours of lessons in a 41 week year. It would take you 8.13 years to clock up the 10 000 hours. Do teachers who have taught for less than ten years feel as though they have mastered their classroom? Depends on the school, depends on the classes and depends on what you are teaching. What about 30 students with 30 laptops or 30 iPads? Would you master that in 8.13 years? Distractions are then everywhere and part of mastering the technology classroom is mastering the art of harnessing the students AND their distractions. That is really complex. It becomes a matter of teaching them how to be selective about the media they consume so that it doesn’t swamp them and take over their cognition and time. The same applies to them: 10 000 hours of doing before they can master something. According to the findings :
“The psychologists found a direct statistical relationship between hours of practice and achievement. No shortcuts. No naturals.”
It’s a matter of falling in love with practice. Being there and doing whatever it is you want to master. This is where the skills and knowledge of a teacher come into play. You have to know clearly what you want to achieve and you have to have the time to do it. You have to know how to co ordinate 30 students and 30 devices for an hour or more at a time. You cannot do that without a plan nor without a mapped out curriculum and standards. If you want to be good at something it really is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.
It was an interesting exercise to look at the teacher quotes and decide which one represented me. In the end, I decided on this one from Confucius because I have never thought that as a teacher I am telling my students all there is to know. I am sharing what I know with them so that they can add to what I have offered them and make it grow from their own perspective. BestTeacherQuotes has a selection of printable quotes which you can use for your own purposes. Which one is you?
Research , combined with technology, can now teach us how to improve ourselves and our lives. This little video is all science and research and yet it is absorbing, informative, clear and well researched. Videos now make it possible to ingest complex information which can then be followed up more deeply by other resources. It is interesting to know there is a difference in brain activity when you listen to music which is more enhanced when you actually play music. With technology and research we can now literally see which activities engage the brain and how. Playing music is one of the activities which engages the whole brain. We all used to learn the recorder and do percussion at school. We all used to sing and be part of a choir. There was a reason for that which educators at the time would have known intuitively. It is literally about a holistic education. Technology can now explain that to us so we understand.
I keep telling you, the internet has a tried and tested way of promoting growth and development of ideas :
Create content Share content Get feedback Grow content
It is a self perpetuating method of resourcing our world with ideas. We can now readily share experience. We can readily find authentic help when we need it. The We are Teachers blog is one of those places where teachers can constantly find a wealth of ideas and experience. Our own professional standards site ,aitsl, in Australia is getting very good at sharing real and valuable ways of encouraging us to work with the performance standards and then share those experiences. It is connecting us but it is up to us. We need to share our practice as teachers no matter what we are doing and at what stage of our career we are. That authenticity rings clearly through cyberspace and generates invaluable content for those seeking it. For an isolated teacher it is crucial. Not all teachers are a part of a big ,dynamic school. When we share, we reach out to others and offer them our experiences and knowledge. It can only broaden everyone’s practice. It will put us all on a stronger footing and we will make natural and reliable connections with each other. This week We are Teachers put up a post by a new teacher. It will help other new teachers. It will turn a year’s work into something which will go into cyberspace and add to our common knowledge and improved professional practice. Social media is now a place where new teachers can quickly get help and support from more experienced teachers no matter where they are teaching. It is also a place where you can quickly crowd source ideas for projects you have in mind. Technology has added something we have never had before and that is an opportunity to have a wide, positive impact for the benefit of all.