Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Digital Skills for 21st Century Teachers

A few days ago I was sent the final part of my goals sheet to fill in - have I achieved the goals that I set out for myself at the start of the year?  My main goal was to coach teachers to empower them to be more independent users of technology - but how could I measure this?  Today I came across a great post that listed 33 digital skills every 21st century teacher should have.  I thought that this list could help me.  Maybe I could pick out the most important 10 and see whether I thought I'd helped teachers to develop these skills this year.  So these are what I came up with for my top 10 list for teachers - some of these are skills that they need for working with their students, some are for developing themselves professionally:

  1. Conduct an efficient search to curate web-based content for classroom learning
  2. Use social bookmarking to share resources with colleagues and students
  3. Use blogs and wikis to create online platforms for students
  4. Create screen-capture videos and tutorials
  5. Be knowledgeable about online security
  6. Understand issues related to copyright and fair use of online materials and be able to detect plagiarized work in students' assignments
  7. Use collaborative tools for text construction and editing
  8. Use mobile devices like tablets
  9. Use social networking sites to connect with colleagues and grow professionally
  10. Compile a digital ePortfolio to highlight their own development
How have I done?  Have I supported teachers and encouraged them to develop all these skills?  Well I think that our ICTL team has worked really hard on search strategies with the students and teachers so I think their skills have definitely developed this year.  We haven't done much with social bookmarking however (most of the online resources we use are those I've found and shared on the student website).  The vast majority of our teachers have classroom blogs - some are using them better than others.  We do have screen capture software on the teachers' laptops and some have certainly used it.  We constantly stress online security, respecting copyright and so on (and also encourage our teachers to share their own work with creative commons licenses) and we recently led a staff meeting dedicated to these issues.  Teachers have used Google Apps extensively with our older students and some departments (most notably music and PE) have started to use iPads.  I feel we could do so much more with social networking, though some teachers have started to use social media as a professional development tool.  Two teachers have approached me for help with their ePortfolios.   My reflection is that teachers have started to develop most of these skills, though progress has been limited because my time and support were also limited.  I respect the steps they have taken to move forward and I hope they continue to be encouraged to develop these skills next year.

Photo Credit:  Respect and Believe by Denise Carbonell, 2009 Attribution

1 comment:

  1. Nice thing to start with here. Today's teachers really need to keep up with the times, and that requires that they learn how to work with technology to optimize the learning experience.