Think about your own journey as an educator – what has changed in your teaching practice over the course of your career with regards to technology use and literature? Is that change embedded at a core level, or is it a matter of changing tools?
I have been teaching for twenty years and so much has changed in how I use technology over the course of my career. After I returned to work after a few years on maternity leave in at the end of last decade, I remember so many of my resources were no longer relevant. The curriculum focus was the same, it was just how I had filed them and the formats they existed, were all of a sudden obsolete. I am incredibly fortunate to work in a school that embraces technology and ICTs and we are supported by an incredible IT department. Whilst I acknowledge that in the past teachers have shied away from utilising the digital platforms and tools we have available, now we really do not have a choice. We have a morning briefing every morning before school, where all teaching staff come together to discuss the day ahead. Every Tuesday is now dedicated to training in digital tools and we actually call it ‘Tech Tuesday’.
I can’t tell you when we became so digitally literate, although it feels like it happened through a natural transition. All of a sudden we had onedrive, google classroom, Microsoft Teams and Google suite. As a TL, I have had to adapt, review and implement ebooks, audiobooks and other interactive texts online and implement through our LMS.
As cited by our teachers, keeping students engaged and not distracted by other features afforded in the digital world, means that we have had to be vigilant in how we evaluate the resources we acquire and understand better how our students learn from screens, and the implications involved with literacy and technology. Teachers too, feel great intimidation when implementing digital literature into their curriculum and I know they feel, like me, pressured at times to be an expert on everything digital we encounter. This certainly isn’t the case, but I do understand how some teachers feel great pressure to gain – quite quickly – a range of skills and competencies in rather a short period of time, on top of the already demanding roles teachers face today.