Monday, October 1, 2012

Teachers as Learners

Teach Your Teacher Something

My school district are in the process of purchasing district license for some professional quality multimedia software.  This is good news, as not only will teachers be able to use professional quality tools to produce their teaching materials, but our students will too.  Granted, some of our younger students may not need such powerful tools, but one of my colleagues pointed out, we need to give tools to kids that scale up, and do not limit their creativity, just because we perceive kids to have limited abilities.
I was concerned that I am going to have to learn an awful lot about an awful lot of software titles.  I mentioned one task I was interested in learning how to do with the new software.  Our Information Services Manager, Brian Kuhn said he needed to learn something too, but got his info from a 14 year old kid on YouTube. 
As I left the building I thought, “Hey, I know where I can find 14 year old kids who know something about technology”.  I pulled into the high school next door, and started asking teachers to keep an eye out for kids who display talent and initiative with using technology. 
I would like students to provide professional development around technology for teachers.  I am proposing that kids create screencasts for teachers, illustrating ways that teachers could use technology in class, perhaps in ways they had not previously considered.
I would like high school kids to get Graduation Transitions credit for it, or possibly create an Independent Study course for it.  Perhaps I can turn it into a contest, and offer some “swag” for the best screencasts.  Stay tuned…..
Not only would I be tapping into the capacity of our students, and building a useful library of how-to videos, but I would also be creating opportunities for kids to show alternatives to the traditional essay as homework.  Furthermore, we would be living up to one of our core beliefs in our district – that we are all life long learners. 
Kids as teachers, teachers as learners. 

Follow up:  I think I will call it "Another Way to Show What You Know"  - make it about students and about their learning. 

1 comment:

Judith Comfort said...

Next time you check into a local secondary school, ask how many students are doing "essays for homework." Very few. I also don't see how making "how to" technology videos can replace learning to communicate well in writing or replacing subject content with technology tips will help them pass an English or Social Studies exam. Suggest you pass your idea on to marketing or IT teachers; who might be able to fit it into their learning objectives.