Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pre-service training

I have just been reading Jessica Shiller's blog about pre-service training. She is discussing teacher training in America however a lot of what she has written is very applicable to us here in New Zealand. We had Teacher Training Colleges which have now been merged into the universities here. The one I teach at merged 3 years ago so we are still in the process of redesigning or changing a lot of the courses in our degree. We are also struggling with the best way to prepare our teachers for the classrooms.

I think this is particularly important as our classrooms and schools are also changing at a rapid pace (here in NZ we have Mission Heights with some particularly innovative practices). Teachers need to be flexible and open to new learning themselves - teachers are now 'life long learners' rather than expect to go and do the course and be an 'expert teacher'.

I agree with Jessica's comments particularly the last paragraph as this is also applicable to us here in NZ:

"whether teacher education is at a university or not, we need some standard for
what teacher education is. Teacher education should not dump theory nor should
it focus entirely on the practical skills that can only be applied inside of a
classroom. Teacher education should combine the theoretical and the practical,
but more importantly, it needs to give future teachers rich preparation so that
they can be strong teachers for kids"

I would be very interested in what others think of this.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pre-service teacher training

We set our 1st year students a task to create a multimedia resource to use in the classroom with primary (elementary) aged children. The students were given a range of web 2 tools to use or they could use PhotoStory 3. The students were encouraged to use a tool they had not encountered before.
I provided online help tutorials as they were required - 'just in time learning'. As well students supported each other in group situations or through an online forum. This gave the students an experience where they were able to see how the tool (or something similary) could be used in their future classroom.
After making the resource they had to either give a link to their work or upload the work to our online learning environment. Many of the students who used Photostory 3 or Animoto then uploaded them to YouTube to be able to embed them in our online environment or into their e-portfolios. I wonder if there are many teachers who are providing experiences like this in their classrooms and how they are doing it. It is great to be able to show these students 'real life' examples to follow on.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fantastic book for all teachers

Terry Freedman has done it again. He has put out a new book - The Amazing Web 2 Projects Book.

This book is free and has many ideas for the busy teacher. The best thing is all of these ideas come from teachers globally so that there are some really great ideas. These teachers have trialled the projects so you know that they are going to work.