Dienstag, 14. Februar 2012

student teachers and the internet

A little while ago I came across an article or study of some kind, where they’d researched the use of the Internet among teachers. The study divided the study groups into younger teachers (around the ages 20 to 25) and older teachers (it was something around 40 or 50). And if I remember correctly it showed significant differences between those age groups. But it wasn't the difference that everybody expected. The results showed that older teachers are more likely to use the Internet for their teaching then the younger teachers.
At first I was really surprised, but then I began to think about my experiences with student teachers and the Internet. Now my experiences during teacher training includes different things considering the use of Internet. To begin with, our English class was the first class that started using an e-Portfolio for our practical training. Secondly, as I already mentioned in an earlier
post we had a seminar dedicated to Web 2.0 and the use of it in teaching. So all in all, we were confronted with the internet right from the start and also from all kind of different angles.
We are using
Mahara as our e-Portfolio platform. And to be honest, we had a rough start with it. Unfortunately it took the Universities’ administration very long to get us updated on the newer version of Mahara. Now for everyone who is not familiar with Mahara, as for the difference in the versions, just imagine the step it took from the old-school Nokia mobile phones with regular buttons and black and white displays to the newest iPhone. That’s the step we took with the update. So you can imagine how fun it was to work the older Mahara version. Looking at it in that light, I can’t blame my colleagues for not seeing the benefits of an e-Portfolio. But then again, if you are familiar with Facebook and you can operate a mail-account and you even have a smart phone, you shouldn't have any troubles with it anyway.
We had different tasks to keep us involved and working with this platform. We had to form groups and got tasks to post something a group-forum, we could put up our lessons plans and worksheets for the other student teachers and we had to put up our reflections about the practical training. It seemed to me that the whole year long, people complained about it. And I still can’t imagine how the platform could have presented any real issues for these young student teachers. The good thing is that for our second year, and also for the beginner student teachers, the new version was already in place and as I see and hear it, the complaints have gone back.
As I’ve been researching for an article on Web 2.0-teaching, it’s became clear that teachers have to be taught about the possibilities of Web 2.0 before they start teaching kids. As I already mentioned above, we have this opportunity during our training. But unfortunately they were a few among our group who didn’t seem to get the whole idea of the why-and-how of Web 2.0 teaching, and it reflected in the use of our e-Portfolio of course.
I think as we move forward in our training and as the world (of education) develops technically, it is vital to at least know about these kinds of things, even if you’re going to be more of an ‘old school’ teacher and just use the blackboard and the workbook and hand out sheets, but then again, you will probably have to use the Internet to research and prepare your worksheets and your blackboard exercises.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen