And now for our final installment of technology tools that every teacher needs. Remember that these skills are in no particular order and if I missed your favorite, please comment and let me know so I can add it to my own list.
7. Teachers should be App Smashers. App smashing is defined as combing two or more apps or programs in inventive and useful ways. I listed my own personal favorite several posts ago when I highlighted the combination of Greenfoot java IDE and the GIMP image manipulation program. In short, teachers must be inventive and think quickly. Mental agility can overcome budget constraints, administration conflicts, and just about any obstacle a teacher may face. This is truly one of the most important qualities any teacher can possess. It may or may not be technical but it IS important. “Think outside the box” is a cliché but it is still meaningful.
8. Teachers need to be cross-platform compatible. A teacher must not be tied to any particular operating system, program, or other piece of technology. It is OK to have favorites and GOTO pieces, but a teacher should be able to build lessons on a PC, in a Chrome Book, on a Mac, or even a Linux system. You never know what will work. If you can adapt and put different systems together and make them work then you will be ready when your favorite things decide to take the day off and not tell you.
9. And finally, a teacher must never forget that the ultimate goal is to educate students. I know I said top 10, but hey…it’s my blog, not yours. Ten does not divide into 3 evenly and I am not dragging this out another day. This might be the most important (if I were putting them in order). Too many teachers get caught up in the process, either of their own making, or a process that is imposed upon them from above. A teacher must never forget that the purpose for all the toys and tech and turmoil is the student. A teacher must do whatever that particular student needs done in order to learn. We must be adaptable and open to different learning styles because no two kids are created equal (The founding fathers never intended that idea to be taken out of context anyhow. People are only equal in the church house and the court house). All the technology in the world won’t replace a single teacher that cares about students and is genuinely interested in their development. Remember, they don’t care what you know until they know you care.
And with that thought in mind, gentle reader, I bid you goodnight.