This post was contributed by guest blogger Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of Alabama teacher certification. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com. Because a number of you who read this blog are teachers or soon to be teachers, I think you will find this article and link to be of much help.
The traditional roles that have been played by both teachers and students are undergoing a sea change, and it’s largely due to the intrusion of ICT or what we call Information and Communication Technologies into a realm hitherto dominated by books and papers. Teaching methods are changing in proportion to the demands made by the management and society at large for better and more effective education experiences. It’s a question of keeping up or being left out.
Technology is making rapid inroads into every aspect of education, from the way teachers impart instructions to the way students access them. It’s made life easy for those who are tech savvy and miserable for the older generation who are having a tough time adapting to the changes that are taking place in the blink of an eye. With every institution worth its salt adopting and embracing technology with open arms, with students dying to use their sophisticated gadgets in an innovative pursuit of education, it’s those who teach who are in danger of falling behind in the learning process.
With students demanding a higher level of engagement in classrooms with more flexibility and convenience, more experiential training that allows for practical expertise, collaborative techniques that challenge their intellect and holistic experiences that are valuable and enriching, teachers are struggling to cope because of lack of proper training and development opportunities, and ambiguous expectations and instructions from their superiors.
Students are more comfortable with the alternative delivery methods that are in vogue today – they prefer assignments delivered through email, tests taken online, class schedules posted on web pages, podcasts of lectures that replace old-fashioned note taking in class and alerts sent through text or instant messages. It’s a classic case of “talk to us in a language that we understand and we’re likely to respond and perform more efficiently”.
For the field of education to thrive and grow in leaps and bounds and not just exist, institutions that are adapting technology as part of their change processes must place more emphasis on training their staff before the introduction of new technological tools as teaching and learning aids. They must not only know how to use the tools at their disposal, but also be experts in strategically harnessing them to assume leadership and provide guidance to students who are on the road to self improvement.
Besides creating a revolution in the sphere of education, ICT has proved that teachers are playing the role students who are always on the periphery of the process of continuous learning.