Wednesday, 4 July 2007

NZ Teacher Trainees need YOUR HELP!

Through my presentations on Time4Online and on TeacherTube I have reconnected with my lecturer/teacher of I.C.T. from Christchurch College of Education that I had when I trained to be a teacher!

She taught me a lot about the basics of HTML, webpage creation and webquests; knowledge and skill of which was instrumental when I first started edublogging and blogging with my class @ Mapua School last year... Before the "new blogger" I was SO grateful to have that knowledge of HTML so I could "pimp", format and make my blogs exactly how I wanted them to be.

It was nice to know that Di has put my presentations on the College Intranet for teacher trainees to see an example of what a current classroom teacher is doing. However, she had an important question to ask of me:
"Did you find that the IT stuff did help with integrating ICT when you became a classroom teacher? What other things do you suggest we do with our students?"
My teacher training in ICT was really good, I believe (for the time), I had a good general computer knowledge and a great bag of skills on various programmes. I had millions of ideas on how I was going to integrate I.C.T. into my classroom programmes... and that I did.

When I look back at my last 5 years of teaching; the things I am doing with my class today is (thankfully!) VERY different to what I was doing four or five years ago... you could say I have learned a few tricks on the way!

With the way that technology is rapidly changing "What other things do you suggest we do with our students?" is a difficult question to answer. We can't just teach our teacher trainees how to use 'programmes' any longer, nor can we soley teach them specific web2.0 applications/tools because by the time they graduate and actually get to use those tools in the classroom things will have moved on yet again!

Please post any ideas/suggestions you have in the comments below.
I have emailed Di and said I would leverage the power of "the experts" (you guys!) and know that she would be very grateful for your ideas... these can be used to further develop teacher training in NZ.


  1. I think the most important thing to get in place is an effective learning environment. This is pivotal before any ICT can be integrated. Teachers need to be able to teach (and believe in) a constructivist approach to teaching and allow students to take their place at the front, sides, back , middle of the classroom with the teacher somewhere helping someone as needed. When the environment is right for learning then the tools become powerful. I like Trevor Bond's quote : ineffective teachers + technology = expensive ineffective teachers.
    That's my two cents worth :)

  2. Well said Jane, I have always liked that quote too... indeed technology in the hands of ineffective teachers is indeed an expensive waste.

  3. hmmm its all about attitude and open mindedness and a passion to integrate icts when necessary. But I guess some basics are , office and email/web friendly. perhaps some exposure to web2/3 tools and definately digital cameras and dv. Oh and awareness of the implications and use of lms and sms systems will be vital to our future teachers, in my opinion

  4. I say inspire the students by exposing them to what is going on eg: class blogs/wikis/podcasts/etc. Then encourage them to have a taste and start their own blog. That way they can stay in touch and develop their own understanding.

    I also think it is of GREAT value to student teachers if they are taught about aggregators. If they were simply encouraged to set up a netvibes account (for example) then their professional development would grow exponentially as they read and watch what other educators are doing.

  5. Expose the students to some good practices out there. (And you don't even have to leave the classroom to do it!)
    But I also believe that the passion has to be there - it doesn't happen unless you believe in the power of these TOOLS (and that's all they are) to help you teach your students. And of course Jane Nicholls hits the nail on the head when she says you've got to have the effective learning environment first!

  6. Nix's post here (at this shortcut URL) is a good example of core computer skills that we too often take for granted that adults have. It may prove a good place to start before moving on.

    I have been thinking about the other GREAT posts that have come in here (thanks guys) and have really come to believe that teaching the power of RSS has got to be an important one. Through this knowledge of RSS and using a reader teachers would have access to lifelong FREE professional development when they subscribe to some good blogs... not to mention the other advantages.

  7. I also believe pre-service teachers need to experience effective use of eLearning modelled by their lectures...not only those who specialise in technology/ICT but throughout the papers they are enrolled in. How are University lecturers utilising effective eLearning strategies in their own practice? Today an effective learning environment includes ICT.

  8. I think new (and older teachers) need to have an open mind to new ways of teaching. Who knows what the future may bring and teachers who think they know the answers invariably don't as things change. They need to 'embrace ambiguity' - my mantra.

    I think it is even dangerous to think that you know all the answers- the answers change as the questions change.

    I still see many teachers who are still fixated on knowledge building and it worries me.

    Teachers need to be non-judgmental of themselves and others- it is difficult to try new tools and experiment when you know you are being judged by 'old school' benchmarks.

  9. Thanks to everyone for the comments, I have taken these "on board". Some great ideas. If anyone wants to contact me directly please feel free: Thanks Di


THANKS for taking the time to leave me a comment. I genuinely appreciate each and every one of them :)