“Being a 21st Century Teacher”

Well I’m not wearing a metallic silver catsuit which a childhood of watching 1970’s sci-fi had led me to believe would be compulsory by now.

I’m with Douglas Adams on his definition of technology as “the stuff that doesn’t work”. Once we get used to ‘stuff’ and can use it repeatedly without fear of it not working it passes from being “technology” to things. TV, radio, the phone – they’ve all made the transition from being technology to things. Its got that way with computing too but the downside means we use it as passive consumers, unaware of how it actually works.

Teachers from ANY century want to empower their students. We want to teach our students skills, share knowledge and develop their thinking skills. We do that using the technology around us. And it has been ever thus. Every new technology has presented opportunities for teachers to change their practise. Just in my lifetime I’ve seen teachers embrace radio broadcasts,photocopying,TV,computing, iPads and social networking.

None of it is a silver bullet. There are no easy answers or simple solutions that will solve the nations eternal existential crisis about standards of education.

But we are missing a trick if we refuse to harness the amazing opportunities that technology offers us. I would be doing my pupils a disservice if I didn’t offer them the opportunity to compose and perform with iPads, if I failed to develop their computational thinking with lyrical flowcharts, if I ignored the amazing access that YouTube gives me to music from all over the world.

I’m not interested in the Emperors New Clothes. I don’t want gimmicks or impressive tricks. What I want is to do is help my children make progress with learning music. I’m prepared to investigate and use ancient methods, modern stuff and even the stuff that doesn’t always work reliably ….. yet.

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