New Tools for New Ways to Teach


Education is one of the most important aspects in the development of a country. The most valuable resource of a nation is its people. A better-educated population has a better potential for growing individually, contributing to the common welfare.

Education has changed over time around the world. But lately those changes have happened very quickly and the education systems in different countries have been making adjustments to modernize and improve ways to teach and learn.

Huge efforts have been done to find the magic formula to achieve a better education at all levels. But only a few have found the exact combination of traditional education and modern methods.

Those who have been successful have something in common: the use of digital tools and resources and the modification of education paradigms to something that is more in sync with the reality that the students live.

The teacher’s role also has changed. We, as teachers, must be capable of using digital platforms as valuable tools in our classes. We must be capable also of establishing new ways of communication with our students and try to adapt our materials, resources, and tools to the new times.

There are a lot of options to enrich our lessons, let me mention some:

Messaging: One of the preferred ways to communicate of the younger generation. The capacity to transmit messages, by a computer, telephone, television cable, etc., offers the teacher a good way to be close to the students.

Blog: This is a discussion or informational website published on the Internet that give the capacity to create communities between teachers and students, with asynchronous texts entries (“posts”). It can be a good place to put files, links, photos, and more educational resources.

Web Pages: Traditional web pages gives the teachers a way to publish static information for the students as well as links of interest.

Learning Management System: This powerful digital tool is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs.  They help the instructor deliver material to the students, administer tests and other assignments, track student progress, and manage record-keeping. This is one of my favorites tools.

Audio and Video Streaming: We can also use, video streaming or audio streaming to transmit remote sessions for the students, using computers or cell phones with internet access. This kind of resources allows a complete two way communication, giving another possibility for consultations, conferences, etc.

E-mail: And old resource but still valid. Traditional communication via e-mail, give another asynchronous way of communicating text, links, and files.

Virtual Drives: With several examples and providers, this tools gives the capability of storing all kinds of files and share between teachers and students, using cloud computing resources for storage, most of them are free of charge.

Collaborative Online Documents: This tool offers the capability of collaborative writing or modifying documents, presentations or spreadsheets, in real time, allowing to students and teachers to create common files while they see what others contribute.

Those are some examples of tools but there are a lot more. So we must be open to investigate and adopt the technological resources that we can use for better teaching.

As we can see, there are many new ways to change the way we teach and the way students learn. The challenge here is how to adapt those technologies to our grades. It is obvious that we as teachers must be prepared for use those kinds of tools. So, we must learn how to teach in modern times. It is our duty to learn how to use those tools and how to incorporate them to our teaching methods.

Being a teacher of chalk, notebooks, and pencils is becoming obsolete. Technology brings us a whole new point of view about education, let’s take advantage of it.

Big challenge! Don’t you think?

Sergio Yorick is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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