As I read the documentation surrounding the iste.nets, I was inspired and encouraged to become a better teacher by embedding technology into my subject area that will result in more practical, authentic and effective learning experiences for my students. This seems like a big task but the iste.nets gave me a clear framework to follow in order to achieve my goal
1. Work together as a staff
I am one of five staff members from my school participating in the COETAIL course this year. It has been wonderful to have the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and collaborate on small projects as well as our final project for course 1 of COETAIL. My goal for this year is to continue to work with this group to educate the staff at our school in order to enable a common language and thinking when it comes to digital technologies. I have always believed that all teachers are teachers of numeracy and literacy; I now see the value and importance of adding digital literacy to the list.
2. Use it for higher order thinking tasks and collaboration rather than word processing and simple research
In the past I have been skeptical of technology in the classroom. I have failed to see any value added to a task or activity and was almost always left thinking that the same could have been achieved with a pen and paper or whiteboard and whiteboard marker only without the 10 minutes at the start of waiting for the computers to start or organizing a room swap. Thanks to the COETAIL course and the wonderful educators I have met, I now see that the key to creating higher order thinking tasks is to add connections and collaboration to a task and that digital technology is a very useful tool to make this happen.
3. Explicitly teach the skills first
I have always thought that reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are crucial to any genuine learning and that the introduction of technology into the learning process, while it might make some of these processes easier, certainly does not replace or supersede the need for basic literacy. I now see that there are a whole lot of digital illiteracies that are of equal importance. My goal for this year is to explicitly teach digital citizenship with a focus on appropriate usage, rights, responsibilities and etiquette.
4. Promote digital citizenship by modeling it
In the past I have been lazy about modeling digital citizenship practices. The COETAIL course has taught me a lot about managing online information and searching for appropriate content. I am looking forward to Course Two where we will learn even more about the legalities of using online content. My goal this year is to have more discussion with my students about appropriate usage but to also model these things at all times.
5. Continue to learn (we are all ICT teachers)
To be able to model appropriate usage, I will need to continue to learn about it. The COETAIL course has taught me a lot already and I aim to pass this on to my students and colleagues and continue to learn from them.
6. Have a clear goal/learning outcome in mind
While I will endeavor to embed technology into the curriculum, I will aim to only do so if it will assist in achieving the learning outcomes. It is very tempting to use technology but will try to avoid using technology for technology’s sake.