There is so much writing on what it takes to be an excellent teacher; school districts ask in their online applications about the three qualities that make an outstanding teacher. These questions are so subjective because one could focus on so many attributes – organized, communicable, personable, content expert, innovative, experienced, inspiring, and the list goes on and on. There are so many factors that go into creating great, excellent teachers that it is hard to narrow that down, but I bet they are different from Charlie Brown’s experience!
When I think about technology, however, I think of two at the forefront that all teachers that are going to integrate technology into their classrooms should possess in order to be successful:
Try New Things
Teachers that are willing to try new things will be more successful than those that are okay with the status quo. As technology is constantly changing, Web 2.0 brings out new programs, software rapidly changes, we seek those that are willing to run programs on a trial basis or implement programs without necessarily knowing all of the answers. This past year, I decided to test out Edmodo with my seventh grade students for the last quarter and I didn’t know everything, but I was willing to try. That’s the mentality that I use when working with teachers in my district, will you at least try? If you are willing to try Glogster, Prezi, Evernote, Storybird, etc., I will work with you to make sure that it is successful for you and your students. Good teachers will try out new things to see how it will impact their teaching and in turn the learning that will go along with it. Thus, I urge everyone to try one new thing every quarter within your classes. If you can try new things, you’ll be amazed at how you will expand your knowledge and skill set!
With technology, things happen – servers go down, the Internet stops working, or hardware malfunctions. Thus, teachers need to be adaptable in order to be fully successful with technology related aspects of learning. Most teachers are adaptable and willing to change a lesson when something goes awry, but with technology teachers need to be flexible and adapt to their situation. Perhaps a website you utilized once is no longer working because of firewall or it went down because someone else didn’t maintain it, then the teacher needs to adapt to the current options that are available.
My hope is that as more teachers seek to include technology as an every day part of their classroom, they will try new things and be adaptable!