Tuesday, March 31, 2009

21st century educators

Following up on all the other blogs on 21st century learners, I did a bit of web surfing, looking for ideas of how to engage staff more into using ICT in their teaching. Each year, there is an increase in the number of students who use ICT in their leisure time. A student who does not use a mobile phone is a real rarity. Yet, many staff still teach the way they were taught. I am continually experimenting with the students on adult education courses. For me, it’s a way to practice & hone my ICT skills and I am privileged to be teaching staff. The staff on DAE courses are a group of committed tutors who are passionate about teaching but most importantly also open to new ideas. One of the formative presentations on the adult learning DAE course is to present a short session on one adult learning theorists. This year, I have asked them to do this using the pecha kucha approach. There was some trepidation when I suggested the idea but great buy in after I presented the session on ‘lifespan development and adult learning’. Everyone is now looking forward to the sessions.

Some of my approach is listed in David Warlick’s blog on 12 ways to become a IT literate educator (found via via Marian Thacher’s blog ). Many of the suggestions revolve around sharing, learning new skills together, experimenting and then evaluating and sharing the results with others. Which works well when staff are in a course together. One of the primary objectives of the DAE courses is for staff to network & learn from each other.

What of other staff? Marie Jasinski’s article archived on the Australian flexible learning network provides some direction. The three components of integrating innovation are the innovations, the innovators & adoptors & the organization. The type, attributes, market needs, benefits & pedagogical impact of the innovations need to be taken into account. There is a chasm between early & mainstream adopters & therefore there needs to be support to bridge the knowledge & also the technology vs pedagogy chasms. The organization needs to have a culture and systems that include infrastructure leadership, commitment & be able to provide adequate support. These guidelines provide a bit of a wake up call for me & for the staff development team.