Teaching in the 21st century is definitely not an easy task. Students are digitally focused and have more free access to information challenging thus the traditional prototypic picture of the teacher as the knowledge instigator. Engagement is also another serious issue that makes educating such kind of students a real nightmare. It takes so much creativity, originality, and novelty from the part of teachers to get students motivated and engaged.
Technology has the cure but this cure cannot be effective unless teachers know how to use its prescription. Teachers need to acquire certain digital skills that are detrimental to the success of their instruction and without which no learning objectives could be cultivated.
Thanks to an awesome learning community called Simple K-12 that we have a list of apt skills every teacher in 21st century must have.
- The first and foremost requirement and trait of a 21st century teacher is that he/she allows his students to freely and access various sources such as blogs (know about quadblogging), books, forums, podcasts and interviews in their research project and constantly drives them to look for more information and pay attention to details.
- They motivate their students to work as teams through giving various group projects and collaborative projects through students in other countries and cities, thus helping and sharing information and knowledge of people from two different parts of the world.
- You give weekly class updates to parents through your blog and shares his viewpoints about each student onto what they need to work on, also making the parents more willing to know about their kid’s development.
- Your students should be always motivated and enthusiastic towards learning (tips on making learning fun), they should constantly participate in class by tweeting their questions and commenting on topics they do not seem to understand and there are open channels of sharing and communicating between the teacher and the student.
- You should ask your students to study and create reports on controversial topics and then can have separate time for debating these projects in the class making it a more driving learning experience to all. Like dividing the course into various topics (can use tools like Scoop.it for content curation) and giving those topics to a group of students and then having a debate on every topic every week, thus involving the students to participate more than the teacher and also grading their video submissions. (Can use Vialogue for video discussions as well)
- You prepare substitutes with detailed directions via podcasts for students who wish to gain more information or could not understand the topic clearly.
- You ask your students to do a character/historical person study and they create mock social media profiles of their characters. As personification helps to understand and gain more insight.
- Your students create a study guide working together on a group Wiki. Sharing more knowledge, discussing and asking questions through forums and groups.
- You should start collaborating with your teacher friends across the globe and share your lesson plans. Every teacher, every institution, every place has their own way and teaching style, it is always good to know them and which style suits you the best.You always gain knowledge from sharing.
- You might have a small classroom budget but it doesn't matter because you can teach from various free websites and resources on the internet. Today, there are numerous websites for free educational videos covering various educational topics including coding and programming. Also there are many universities that provide free materials and courses called MOOCs for students who are willing to learn, so the budget is no problem anymore.
- If you're looking for professional development ,you must work on it. Reading blogs, joining various online communities, tweeting for self development is a must.
- You take your students on various field trips to make their learning fun. If you are a history teacher well you better show them the Great Wall of China and the various tombs created by our ancestors if not physically, showing it online is possible anyday.
- You encourage your students to share their vacation stories and share it online on photo repository always being a part of their learning experiences. Use the power of tool like Pinterest to make specific boards for specific topics.
- You visit the Museum with your students and don't spend a penny. Well how do you do that? The web has the answer to all. There are videos available, history knowledge everything is at your doorstep.
- You teach your students not to be bullies or cyber bullies.
- You make your students turn in their cell phones before entering the class because you plan on using them in class. (See the smartphone usage by students)
- You require your students to summarize a chapter and submit it through a text message.
- You showcase your students original work to the world. Help them to put their reports and work on the web for the world to know. (Use multimedia posters for this task)
- You have your morning coffee while checking your RSS feed in the hunger of new information to help a teacher.
- You are reading this.
- You send your teacher friends the link to this article.
How much do you agree with these skills of a 21st century educator?