Thursday, August 4, 2011

New teachers... Welcome to teaching!

I have been spending some time this week preparing a new teacher training for new staff. They will have a full week of orientation and one whole day of that will be technology training. For one day, new staff will be immersed in learning about the many tools they have at their disposal to help their students learn. From Smartboards to student response devices, MOODLE to Google Apps, Discovery education to their Schoolwires webpage, these teachers will need to hit the ground running. They will leave swimming with excitement and anxiety about all the possibilities. Some will jump right in and start using the tools, while others will have good intentions of trying them later on after they get their feet wet.

There is no question that the expectations for new teachers are very different. Yet, they still come with the same preparation. I can't believe how many teachers come to us that haven't had any real experience with these tools. I was recently asked to be a guest lecturer about technology integration at a nearby university. After asking a few questions, I quickly concluded that my 2 1/2 hour class would be the full extent of their exposure to digital literacy, blended learning, and online collaboration. How is this possible? These new teachers should be learning from the beginning about teaching for the 21st century so they can hit the ground running. Instead, we have to prepare them.

So, new teachers, welcome! As if you didn't have enough to think about... curriculum, policy, standards, assessments, nametags, etc... We are going to send you on a whirlwind ride through the many tools you will be expected to use in your classroom. Have fun! And don't forget my phone number!

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