The NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards includes:
Element 4; Aspect 4.1.5 – Use a range of teaching strategies and resources including ICT and other technologies to foster interest and support learning.
Today, I observed a teacher revising fractions with the year six class as they had performed badly in their pre-test. She went over the test on the whiteboard while the students were at their desks. While the teacher had good intentions, she;
– Moved through the questions very quickly
– Did not give the students enough time to answer her questions
– Did not rub off the writing on the whiteboard once moved onto the next question
– Did not provide much praise to the students
– Did not allow the students to write anything in their books
– Did not allow the students to use concrete materials
– Did not use the interactive whiteboard
Unfortunately, it seemed that the majority of the students took very little, if anything, away from that math lesson.
We need to acknowledge that our students have changed radically. The educational system wasn’t designed to teach today’s students.
Today’s students represent the first generations to grow up with digital technology in the last decades of the 20th century. During their entire lives, they have been absorbed by computers, videogames, digital music players, video cameras, mobile phones and many other digital tools and toys of the digital age.
As educators, we need to be thinking about how best to teach our students of today. We need to invent new ways of teaching, but not necessarily from scratch. Adapting materials to the language of this generation has already been done successfully, in particular the creation of games which help teach the content, even the most serious.
I can only imagine how different that lesson could have been if the interactive whiteboard had been turned on. Instead of the students looking out the window, hoping not to be the one chosen to answer a confusing question next, they could have been excited, engaged, learning and participating in a visual and interactive math lesson.
The below YouTube video demonstrates how the interactive whiteboard can be used for a fraction lesson. Get creative and become inspired!
I have also created a Prezi, ‘Learning in the 21st Century and Beyond’ to further encourage educators to grow with the change of the 21st century.
Leonard, L. (2010). Fractions – understanding using visuals [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ6UGZ_p0U4
New South Wales Institute of Teachers. (2006). Professional Teaching Standards. Retrieved 4 Februray, 2009 from http://www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au/Main-Professional-Teaching-Standards.html
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon. 9 (5).