My Presentation to EPS 100

I spoke to a group of EPS 100 students last week, and Del Fraser (one of their instructors) wrote up some notes about my presentation. I thought that these were well done and captured much of what I talked about.

One of the opening lecture points I made was that I wanted you to think about your role as an agent of change in your teaching practices. Not change just for the sake of change, but change for the continued adaptations we need for students to succeed in their new worlds. One such change is that of using Information Technology as a partner in successfully teaching your students.

One of the responsibilities that teachers may assume is that of “protector”. We assume this role in a natural way as we assume responsibility for the learning community and students who are part of our everyday circle of contacts. It is somewhat natural for us to be aware of how connected our students are while under our guidance and care.

Alec Couros showed us several ways of connection and emphasized the huge value of students thinking globally … the many benefits for learning which accrue through information sharing and interaction.

He asked that we 1. Understand media, 2. Know the power of media, 3. Use media for opening creativity in our students, 4. Be aware of the social activism aspect of media, 5. Check and recheck the background of media connections.

Initially, we all are confident in our ability to use computers in our personal lives. The recent (i.e. last two years) advances and developments in technology offer an amazingly quick way to access information in standard and mobile processes. As beginning teachers, consider the plus and minus aspects of technology in your teaching.

There are many advantages and many concerns regarding the use of information {IT} technology in teaching. This will not change. We need to maintain an on-going review of the effectiveness of any strategy and/or instructional process in our teaching. A reflective professional will do this.

How we deal with IT in our classroom is one part of the reality which teaching professionals face in classrooms, school communities, and school divisions. It is not an isolated issue and we are not alone in our discussions or actions.

As a beginning teacher, consider:

1. What part does IT have in your plans for professional growth?

2. What are the issues for you relevant to the use of IT in teaching?

3. Are you going to be the kind of teacher who wants to be constructivist in implementing IT?

4. What are your plans for keeping informed about IT for the classroom – in the face of rapid changes in technology?

5. Does a corporate agenda present itself regarding IT? Is this a good thing – why or why not?

6. Will you be prepared to confront and deal with issues of a negative nature …… cyber bullying, sexually explicit websites, racism, social injustice, violence, stalking, pornography, hate sites, copyright, text messages, technocheating and whatever else may rear its nasty head?

7. Will parents/caregivers expect you to fully inform them and educate them regarding your IT plans in your future classroom?

8. SaskLearning is a source of guidance regarding IT. Is there an STF policy, a Schoolboards policy?

9. Will you be an agent for change when you see inequities in IT resources?

10. Where does IT fit in your worldviews regarding the Five Commonplaces?

Thank you Dr. Alec Couros for your timely and humorous presentation.

It’s always a pleasure speaking to our new preservice teachers. I hope they enjoyed the presentation as much as I did.