5 Dec 2008

Training teachers: a possible answer

Motivating teachers into technology supported learning is one of the bottlenecks for successful teaching. So how can we as facilitators get our teachers on top of the technology, instead of avalanched by it?

During the different discussions I have had about this topic, it occured to me that everyone had a specific, usually slightly different approach. So I stepped outside for a while and with the snow falling on my face, I came to the conclusion that this must be the way it must be.

There is no uniform to approach teachers to engage in this activity. Just as there never was a fit-for-all solution in the past, there isn't one now. This was a bit of a bummer because I was looking for easily applicable techniques. Our teachers are in general very professional but in high demand. So a completely customized approach, requiring a lot of time from both facilitator and teacher, will not be easily accepted.

It is, nonetheless, the only possible answer. Clearly, this has always been the case. Every individual prefers one-to-one education. We have been taught in schools that safety is in mass, because you can blend into the crowd. But as individuals, we always prefer as small a group as possible. The teacher only needs to focus on my individual needs, no other disturbances are present. Ask any music student what they prefer, they'll all go for the individual approach.

A way around this impossible - since the approach is not economical for teachers or facilitators - answer is diversity. We can provide tools for teachers so they can pick from the menu the ones they prefer and use those. This can make the experience more personal and rewarding. So the answer to a multitude of possibilities is, in my opinion, a large enough choice to allow each person's preference.

Training teachers will have to leave the classroom, just like teachers themselves will have to get out more. A different challenge, but a more feasible one.

No comments: