Being a first year teacher at edutech this year was a little bit like being a child in a candy shop. Overwhelming, exciting and making you want to dance around like a dinosaur all at once! Not only are you trying to take on board everything possible, you are surrounded by outstanding educators you’ve only seen on twitter.
So here it is – my five things I learnt being a first year teacher at #edutechAU
#1 – Our World Is Changing
Okay, so not entirely new news but to what extent was a bit of an eye opener to me. The 5 year olds that started school in 2017 will start university in 2033 and will retire in 2082. How are we teaching for their future when we don’t know what their future holds?
#2 – To STEM or not to STEM?
It doesn’t really matter. A shock, I know! But whether you are teaching from a PBL approach, STEM or inquiry approach that key point is that we are changing (or transforming) how we are doing things. Our curriculum is over crowded and somethings got to give.
#3 – But I’m not good at IT (Thanks @kmakly)
You will never understand technology better than the children you teach. Just stop. Let that sink in. No matter how much you try to keep up and learn there will always be a child that knows that little bit more about Minecraft or knows an app that can do something better. Does that mean we don’t try to keep up? Not at all! But it does mean we need to acknowledge this understanding and take a step back sometimes.
#4 – Consumption not creation
Our students are massive consumers of digital technologies. And while edutech didn’t give me all the solutions, I came to a greater understanding that I need to try harder with my students to make sure they are creators. How this will look? I’m not exactly sure – but I will aim to find out over the coming weeks, months and years.
#5 – It won’t happen overnight
Reality happens. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s nothing new. Multiple people told me over the two days that I needed to take just one thing away to try over the next few weeks. Some people even said to allow 5 years for change. While I’m not sure I agree with the latter, I am sure that small changes I make within my classroom tomorrow can make a difference to my students even if it doesn’t happen overnight.
After writing this post I realised that maybe I walked away from edutech with more questions than I did answers. But I know that the more I question myself daily the better my teaching will be.