Sunday, December 7, 2008

How-To....that is the question!

How do I...? That is the question most heard by technology educators in schools. While this is not the only dilemma we face it is a huge hurdle. How can one, ed-tech professional know everything? We cant! The greater, more important question is; can we find the resources to get the question answered?

As a Technology Educator for over 10 years, I have always strived to keep my knowledge of new technology up to speed, but alas, it is impossible to know everything about everything in our technological society. The use of Technology in education is moving just as fast as the technology industry itself and in order to reach all of the people who need us, we need to be able to both understand the students and teachers. We have students, who are now being seen as new types of learners, so we have to refine and redefine our pedegogy. We also have teachers, many of whom are seasoned veterans who don't necisarrily understand what these new learners are all about.

With this in mind, we have to address two problems, one what will be effective with our new learners, but in my opinion, even more important, is how do we teach our teachers to effectively use the new tools.

Usually, when a teacher asks, "how do I do this?" it ends up being translated as "can you do this for me?" While this may not be intentional, teachers are sometimes resistant to change. As a technology-educator, I have to be a teacher for teachers and both model the behaviors that are most effective and also have a working knowledge of what they need to make the most effective use of time. In order to do this we need resources, and there are plenty out there. While the most common is to find the answer on the internet, and read/practice what we need, but there is a more tangible answer to be found. There are a plethora of resources out there in the form of other people and professionals. I am a member of several social networks (Ning, Diigo, wikis, etc) that give me access to websites and people who can guide me and most imporantly, PREVENT ME FROM RECREATING THE WHEEL!

Here are a few websites to start the journey:

Article: 15 tutorial sites

Atomic Learning

Free Computer Tutorials

Amazing research tools

Cool Websites and Tools

What do you use? How do you best meet teacher's needs?

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