Teachers with pedagogical or technology skills need to work together to make learning an enjoyable experience.
IN PREVIOUS articles I talked about integrating technology into classroom teaching and learning. I have been researching on the various tools, systems available for teachers and the various media and methods available in the new world of technology.
I have spoken at conferences, worked with schools and collaborated with other technology integrators both locally and internationally.
What I’ve learnt most is that teachers must get students to engage in thoughtful discussions. They also need to get students to read to gain knowledge, communicate effectively and become lifelong learners. The availability of technology can help teachers achieve what they need to do if there is a connection between pedagogy and technology.
We have teachers who know how to build authentic learning experiences, connect with students, and drive learning.
We also have those in the noble profession who know how to build websites.
In other words, we have teachers who know how to teach and we also have teachers who know how to use technology.
Teachers with pedagogical skills and teachers who know how to use technology, need to share their knowledge and coach each other to make happen the learning that should take place in classrooms.
Using technology alone does not necessarily make a teacher effective as technology is not pedagogy. Incorporating technology without the right pedagogy does not make a teacher efficient and not necessarily engage students.
Good teachers do more than just teach content. Good teachers create authentic learning experiences for their students by building rich, performance-based assessments.
Such teachers encourage students to solve problems and take an active role in their own learning. Good teachers teach skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication and curiosity. Good teachers know how to create learner-driven environments.
All this can be done better with the integration of technology in the teaching and learning process.
Good teachers know how to inspire students and build a love for learning that can last a lifetime. Technology can assist teachers in reaching this aim more quickly.
Has teaching changed? Teachers still have the same major tasks today as they did before the Internet.
Teachers have for years collaborated with students and fellow colleagues and communicated with parents to find and share resources, manage student behaviour and deliver content.
However in the digital age, much more can be achieved by both the students and teachers in a shorter period of time, with the use of good pedagogy of course!
Technology has become a part of teaching just like pencil, paper, blackboards and books.
Integrating technology into instruction is simply the new way that we must teach in order to prepare our students not only to be college- and career-ready, but to be productive and contributing members of a modern society.
Regardless of technology, sound pedagogy is absolutely crucial to providing an effective teaching and learning environment.
If you are a competent teacher, the latest in technology should not stress or upset you.
In fact, it should open doors to allow you to set higher goals and attain more than what you may already know.
There will continue to be “good” and “bad” teachers — those who know the subject but who fail to “know” their students.
A teacher must have the knowledge and the ability to enhance the learning curve of their students in today’s digital world.
Students as learners will be able to grasp, retain and respond to the latest technological trends.
We are living in a digitally focuused world that requires us to adapt to new changing lifestyles that we, the digital immigrants, were not used to before.
This excessive digitisation of life has also brought about some new learning concepts.
As teachers, we should be open to new ways of teaching and learning, and be prepared to, at times, learn from our students on where and how so much more information can be found on a particular topic.
An educator with good pedagogical skills who is able to integrate technology into the teaching and learning process, will certainly make learning happen and engage students in the learning process.
Where can a teacher learn more on technology integration in the teaching and learning process?
The School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia is an ICT Education Resources Distribution Centre for Unesco (United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organi-sation), Bangkok, Thailand.
Workshops are conducted upon request for teachers on ICT integration in Teaching and Learning. There are resources available as “take-away” for teachers who attend these workshops. These resources can be used by teachers to prepare their teaching and learning materials.