Welcome back to day 2 of the top tech skills that every teacher needs to provide a relevant and engaging learning environment in the digital world. Last time we listed “Search Engine Skills”, “Office Mastery”, and “Social Media”. Tonight we present three more skills that most teachers will find indispensable. Remember, these are in NO particular order..
4. Teachers should be bloggers. Blogging is a skill that every teacher should posses. News from your classroom, important current events, and information like assignment instructions can be presented easily to a large audience via a blog site. Blogging is also a great way to communicate with peers and keep parents informed. At the very least, blogging is an exercise in discipline. In order to develop a following, fresh content must be added daily (or at least more than once a week). Reading blogs allows a teacher to keep abreast of what others are doing. It is a great way to find useful items for use in your own class.
5. Creating video content is a vital skill. Teachers should be familiar with the production and distribution of digital video. Once upon a time, video creation was reserved to professionals. Given the abundance of video editing tools, inexpensive cameras, and the ease with which material can be posted to YouTube, Facebook, and other social media sites, there is no reason for any teacher to fall behind the video curve. Case in point, your humble author built a highlights video for a chemistry class that I taught in 2010 over combustion chemistry. The effects were done in Adobe After Effects and the final edit was in Premiere Pro.
It’s not about talent, it is about providing information and generating interest in your students.
6. Teachers should be able to build a web presence. Using Notepad to code up and ASP or PHP site and posting it via an FTP server is not really necessary (it IS good to know how) but all teachers should have some type of an online presence. There are many hosting solutions available today with templates already in place that allow a potential webmaster to fill in information and present a fairly professional looking site to the Internet at large. Your schedule, contact information, a fairly recent picture, and a minimum of biographical information should be available to parents, administrators, students, and, probably most importantly, potential employers. A web site today is more like a virtual business card/biography. It should be indexed and easily searchable. If you keep current and accurate information available on the web, you won’t have to worry about what others post.
Well, that is surely enough for tonight. I will try to finish up tomorrow. Meanwhile, have a great evening.