Want to be a great teacher? Then know what learning objectives are.
I recently listened to the wonderful Geek
netcast #48where they discussed the confusion of teachers wanting to learn technology tools rather than how to use them with their students. They discussed the existence of a class called “Microsoft Word”—their response, Microsoft Word is not a class, it is a tool! Of course I agree.
Randy (a friend from Teachers College“) writes on Results Now, Mike Schmoker’s new book. Randy quotes, “In most cases, neither teachers nor students can articulate what they are supposed to be learning that day.” This sums it all up. Students are dying to know what is expected, what is coming. We should tell them, and let explore it in the most powerful ways possible – give the access to the Internet, to the library, to local experts to graduated cylinders to dictionaries…to whatever they need.
I am tired of the discussions on what tools we need to train teachers on. Our training models are too slow for that technique. By the time we’ve trained, that is out, and students are on to new things. We need to be training our teachers on how to plan lessons properly, how to communicate the objectives to students, and how to facilitate an exploration of the concepts at hand. They need to be prepared to have students bring in tools that work for them. Yes, using Facebook might just be the best way to plan your next community service project. Deal with it. Heck, embrace it. Why not? Your students are going to with or without you.
Sorry for the rant. Lay out the objectives and see how much closer your students will be to achieving them. Don’t try to trick them into getting there, it will surely land you short of your goals.
My next post should be on how tech integrators fit into this picture (since you are my main readers). I am working on it.