A major problem with public schools today is that the teaching personnel do not have any time to grow as educators and discover the best way possible to communicate ideas and concepts to students. Instead of ever being able to increase their knowledge and learn new methods to reach students, teachers find themselves in the classroom constantly with no opportunities or time to improve on the way they teach. |
What can be done about this problem? Some public schools around the country are giving teachers of the same department the same resource period. By sharing this time, educators can collaborate with each other about how to explain a concept, or how to deal with a hot-button issue in the classroom. This collaboration effort also gives teachers the opportunity to get on the same page when it comes to things like grades, tests, and even classroom discipline.
Along the same lines of collaboration, another way to improve the education product is to encourage social media use by educators. More often than not, teachers are trying to prevent students from misusing social media, especially in the classroom. The real misuse of this technology, however, is the lack of use by these teachers. Educators should not only use the internet to research teaching methods for various novels, concepts, and events, but they should connect with other teachers who have succeeded and failed at adequately reaching students with these topics. What worked? What did not work? What would you do again? All of these questions hold valuable answers for today's educators, and the best part is that these answers are completely free and will not break any school budgets.
Another way that public schools can improve is through the management and sharing of data. It is imperative that administrators keep tabs on which teachers are succeeding, and which are not when it comes to educating the students. Keep thorough records of student achievement through test scores, grades, and even attendance. This valuable information can be kept in an online data warehouse where it can be quickly gathered and manipulated. By doing this, the statistics will tell administrators which teachers are best reaching the students and which ones need further coaching. This will help in building teams of educators with different strengths and weaknesses that will help each other grow as teachers.
Along with online statistical storehouses and social media, there are countless digital tools that can be brought into the classroom without costing educators or taxpayers a single dime. If administrators want to garner teacher excitement about bringing technology and digital media into the classroom, the best way to do it is to let them see what is available for free at their fingertips. There are, for instance, various types of free online audio editing software that middle and high school students could use to create newscasts, podcasts, and public service announcements. There are digital tools that elementary students can use to create easy-to-read word walls to improve vocabulary. English teachers can even take advantage of blog creating sites to get their students excited about writing, while saving hundreds of pages of paper in the process.
For more information about Portage public schools, check out: http://www.oneamazingclass.org.
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