Technology has evolved vastly in the past few decades and especially so in more recent years. Nowadays it seems like everyone’s got an iPad, a cellular phone, a laptop, a personal computer and knows what Google is. But in our experience, here at SeekTeachers, we’re seeing many teachers whom have little to no IT skills whatsoever. Worrying, especially for those whom don’t even know how to set up Skype.
So why is it especially important for teachers, even those not teaching IT, to know about technology? Well, although the west is renowned for its tenacity for fast-developing new hi-tech scene, very little technology is actually implemented in an educational environment, especially at a pre-higher education level.
In stark contrast, many countries in Africa are researching heavily into Virtual Learning Environments to allow children to attend education centres and take part in classes run from the opposite side of the country. Meanwhile in the Middle East, interactive whiteboards and tablet computers have taken the educational scene by storm and see teachers interacting with the students in projects through the technological medium. Finally in Asia, there’s China and Japan, enough said.
But there’s just so much technology floating around, there’s networking to oversee, software to download, hardware to install and all manner of social media and communications platforms. How can I possibly follow it all? Well here’s the kicker: A little knowledge goes a long way.
We first suggest you familiarize yourself with a modern computer (consider investing in a system, or a laptop at the very least with Windows 7, Windows 8 or a recent Mac OS), and learn a few basics of computer networking, there are many videos on websites such as Youtube that thoroughly explain just how the internet, and your computer, function.
This brings me on to our next point, socializing. The internet has become a powerful point for socializing and networking between individuals and many websites offer amazing-yet-intuitive systems to allow you to interact with other users, the most prominent of which being Facebook and LinkedIn, with the former being more for personal use and the latter being suited more for professionalism. We suggest you set up both, it’ll make your life a lot easier being able to see all your conversations with people in one place.
Virtual Learning Environments are rapidly becoming standard usage in many places in the world, especially so in the Middle East and Africa, and we recommend you at least understand how a VLE works. To begin with, students and teachers are given a common technology to interact through; this may include a Tablet PC, a Laptop PC or even a Desktop PC. Next, a medium is devised which allows the two to connect and this may include a website, a program or an operating system designed specifically for the technology. Projects can be assigned, tasks can be set and hand in dates can be set for students (and the teacher often has access to many Personal Organizer, Curriculum Planning, Content Creation and Communication tools). On some VLEs, Exercises can be performed on the technology itself, allowing for interaction between the teacher and students or collaboration on group projects.
We can’t stress enough how important it is that you download and install Skype, it’s free, easy to set up an account and allows you to chat to people in both voice and video calls across the world for absolutely free. This means as long as you have a laptop or PC handy, you can call your loved ones, family and friends with ease of use. More importantly, Skype allows you to take part in interviews with agencies (such as the highly recommended SeekTeachers) and network with new employers just as easily.
SeekTeachers operates all over the world and places teachers internationally, if you’d like to get involved with new technology and broaden both your horizons and your abilities with these fantastic state-of-the-art advances, then take a look at our Jobs Page for a full list of all jobs we have to offer!