Thursday, 24 May 2012

Untapped Resource(s)

When I tell people that the kids coming into my classroom are more technologically equipped and capable than I am, I get different reactions. Most people respond with: "yeah, right!"

I'm a new teacher and as a recent graduate, ICT is a hot topic and integrating technology into curricular areas is something that is usually on my mind. Some people assume, because I'm into technology and willing to try new things with ICT in the classroom, that I know way more than the students I teach.

I do not think this is true. From the minute I entered the teaching profession, I was encouraged by professors, cooperating teachers, and colleagues to integrate ICT, not to teach it. Allow students to explore the technology we have in the 21st century, while building knowledge in the curricular areas. Students have been surrounded by the latest technologies for many years now. Many of them come in with the gadgets, the knowledge, and the ability to do things we have only heard about or possibly did not know were possible. It is important as teachers to use the resources we have. Our students!

In grades 7 and 8, students are looking for importance and relevance in the material presented to them. It is the least we can do to allow them meaningful ways to express their knowledge and opinions. What better way to show students relevance in their learning and provide them with ownership of their education than to give them some control. Releasing the control in a classroom is a difficult thing for teachers to do, however the results achieved from encouraging students to find unique ways to display what they have learned can be well worth the experiment. Involving students in the planning and executing of assignments gives them the opportunity to tell their teachers what the can do and will allow them to focus their abilities and ideas toward a constructive purpose.

The resources available to teachers are endless due to the Internet, social media, and how so many educators have bought into the sharing theory. Our students are one of the most valuable resources we have and it is vital to use them in a positive way in order to enhance each educational experience for each learner. They are untapped resources that need to be used for them to gain further ownership of their education.