The course “Computer Science for Teachers” has been quite exciting and challenging. Firstly, I thought it was going to be too technical with lessons on coding and algorithms. The short term course made us aware of two important aspects of learning – Firstly, coding is not rocket science. Secondly, online learning is for everyone.
The course brought a group of teachers together and the interesting dynamic of the group made me realise that I was learning a lot from my teacher peers. The discussions brought to light the varied perspectives amongst us. Having said that, the same approach can be applied to online learning that we offer to students during this period.
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, the children are now working as if I did not exist.” – Maria Montessori. We can achieve this with the help of technology. For this, we must be able to give clear and precise instructions to the computer. Communicating with computers is not rocket science either. Today’s technology is all about giving simple English-like instructions, dragging and dropping icons to accomplish tasks and understanding the workings of applications – what they offer and how we can use them effectively.
As an educator, I use technology for two primary purposes – to teach mathematics or another subject in an engaging manner using a variety of available tools, to learn concepts in my areas of interest using online learning platforms like YouTube and Khan academy. Learning using technology makes me a better teacher as I learn (from the online educators and platforms) to captivate my students and use the right vocabulary to convey the content. My recent interactions on Reddit and Discord (for educational group chats) amazed me because of how willing students and teachers around the world are to help each other to learn, to clarify concepts and build strong networks. These platforms brought me closer to teachers from different parts of the world and helped me understand how differently they used online tools to facilitate learning during the pandemic.
During this uncertain time, all of us are stepping into a new world of teaching and learning. Thus, it is important to understand the art of learning from a new perspective as it will aid our approach to learning and teaching in the uncertain future. I recommend the below course to understand different effective ways to learn.
Homeroom Teacher, Grade 6