Friday Webinars for Teacher Development
This is an open invitation to teachers around the globe. Teachers can learn about educational tools and how to integrate use them in their face-to-face, flipped, blended, and fully online courses. The course is called “Learn to Blend and Flip with Technology“. Participants who complete the course tasks will be awarded with a certificate of completion. The course includes weekly webinars that are also recorded if teachers cannot make the live events. In addition, participants engage in discussions and practical hands on activities The interactive syllabus for the course is available on Google Drive and in the courseware. It can be printed after download.
Teaching & Learning with Technology
Teacher training or professional development refers to ongoing opportunities to learn within or outside the learning institution. One area of teacher training that has not caught on as quickly as it should is the integration of technology. Teachers use emails, twitter, Facebook and other social networks, but they don’t integrate technology into their lessons on a regular basis. Similarly, students use technology for social engagement with their friends, but are not always aware of technology as a tool for learning.
WizIQ for Professional Development
WizIQ provides instructors with tools to advance student learning by sharing and engaging the students with the content, one another, and the instructor. The live online class with its whiteboard, chatbox, attendee list, webcam and microphone, resemble a face-to-face class. Students adapt easily to watching and listening to the teacher behind a webcam, just as they would to a newscaster or a celebrity on TV show.
Motivating Teachers to Use Technology for Instruction
Teachers need encouragement and support when it comes to implementing technology in the classroom. Technology can be very intimidating for many teachers because introducing technology almost always requires new learning. Teachers may lack the time and the motivation to learn technology skills. The purpose of this blog post is to discuss some of the obstacles teachers face in their attempts to implement and integrate technology into their classrooms and how using WizIQ can provide some answers.
Practice, Practice, and More Practice
One of the key challenges teachers face is lack of (a) information on how to make technology work for them, (b) ongoing support, and (c) opportunities to practice. The integration of technology into the curriculum will not succeed without giving teachers ample time to practice, explore, conceptualize, and collaborate. This can be done by inviting the teachers to schedule a live online class on their own or collaboratively. Once teachers get acquainted with the platform, they will spread the word to other faculty members, the principal, and administration.
Some teachers and students feel that learning with technology takes a lot of time. This may be true initially, but with practice, technology will save time. The technology leader of the organization may wish to demonstrate to the staff and teachers how technology can save time.
Being Rewarded for Learning
Teachers and students need to be rewarded for the time they spend in taking personal and professional development courses. Certificates of Completion give us a sense of accomplishment. We gain confidence by being able to share and brag about the things we learn.
Once teachers understand the value of using technology for instruction and learning and the ease with which it can be utilized, they will not shy away. The school administrator or technology support person may wish to organize teacher training sessions online. Modelling is a great way to convince others of the value of technology. Online training will allow teachers to learn from home or wherever they happen to be. There is no need to travel to school or out of school for training.
Teachers shy away from computers for many reasons. They are afraid of failing. Many teachers fear they would lose control of the class. Teachers have a difficult time applying technology skills in the classroom unless there is a direct linkage with the curriculum, teaching strategies, or improvements in achievement. Teachers need training and ongoing support to be able to get the confidence they need to lead their students.
Teachers would not be frustrated and shy away from the computer rooms if these were available. Teachers cannot sustain the fear that during their lessons if technical support is unavailable. Teachers will not go into the computer room unless a special computer teacher is there to support them. Teachers are not ready to work on their own. This is a major problem in the author’s workplace where the hardware and the software are available but the teachers are not.
Many teachers feel alone. They wish they could share information and ideas with other teachers around the globe. Taking a course online with others from around the globe opens up new venue and provides teachers with opportunities to collaborate with other teachers on how to blend and flip their classes with technology.
Motivating Students to Use Technology for Learning
Most students also have Internet connections at home so that the virtual classroom software, which is password protected, can be used for online distance learning. Computer room scheduling is not the problem, teacher motivation is. None of the teachers are using the available technology on a regular basis. Why are teachers not integrating technology in their classrooms?
Schools Should Consider Using Technology for Professional Development
It’s not enough to purchase the equipment, it is also important to have support. A technology coordinator must organize training and provide ongoing support in the computer room so that teachers gradually learn to feel confident in the computer room.
There are many obstacles facing successful implementation of technology into schools today. Integrating technology into teaching and learning is a slow, time-consuming process that requires substantial levels of support and encouragement. Patience, understanding, and motivation are essential to a successful implementation of technology.
Online professional teacher training programs on how to use technology will help shift teacher oriented teaching to student-centered learning. Training teachers on how to integrate educational technology into the classroom will ensure that students engage in problem solving, high order thinking and independent learning.
Teaching with Technology on WizIQ
I currently facilitate a professional development course for teachers called “Learn to Blend & Flip with Technology“. Participants who complete the required tasks receive a certificate of completion (see syllabus for the course). Some of the course highlights are:
- Create Videos
- Use Screensharing Tools & PowerPoint Presentations
- Learn How to Teach and Share Information on Social Networks
- Learn to Teach Online with Moodle, WizIQ, Blogs, Wikis, & Google Drive
- Create Videos using the Whiteboard on WizIQ & Uploading to YouTube
- Learn How to Reward & Motivate Participants with Badge
- Learn about Summative and Formative Assessment
- Learn about Action Research Projects
This is a fully online free hands-on professional development course for educators and/or anyone who wants to share information in a socially meaningful way. The course includes live online classes (with recordings), content (via the courseware), discussions (via the course feed), and hands-on activities.
Participants of the course will learn how to create videos using Webcams via WizIQ classes, screencast-o-matic, PowerPoint presentations, and Google drive. They will upload the video files to Youtube and Vimeo for blended learning, the flipped class, and to market their online courses. Participants will learn how to teach with web technologies such as blogs, wikis, google drive, badges, the WizIQ live class, Moodle, social networks, and videos.