They need their teachers to learn

The above video, with a song written and performed by Kevin Honeycutt is so true. This week I attended a Gifted and Talented Group Meeting. I had been asked to come along to talk about “Voicethread”  http://voicethread.com/ as an opportunity for their gifted children to communicate with others of like minds and outlook.

The lady who had asked me to come along was very excited by the idea of having a means by which her children could talk to each other and maybe make videos. She could see the potential in all of this, not just for the gifted children but for all children.

I remember the excitement that I had when I had first discovered Voicethread. I could see endless possibilities that crossed the boundaries of place and time. I saw a few brilliant threads on different subjects by people from all over the world of all ages and nationalities.

I entered the room enthusiastic about what I was about to show them and expectant of real enthusiasm and support from these teachers who have the developmental needs of their charges at heart as we all know.

But as soon as I arrived I was greeted with a group of non-smiling sceptical looks. I was asked numerous questions about child protection which I understood and which I tried to answer as much as possible but it seemed to me that the possibilities, the excitement, the potential of all of this new technology was lost on them.

In my last blog entry I have included a Powerpoint that was made by Daisy, a ten year old child who I am teaching in a mathematics group at the moment. This was an example of how a child was coming to school with a message for her teachers….. this my world let me bring it in to school.

Kevin is right, it is the teachers who need to learn and learn fast. I see so much public money going into teacher education and CPD and yet I still feel that I am one of the few enthusiasts who is shouting our message to an audience that doesn’t really want to listen like most of the group of teachers who I talked to the other day.

Oh, I almost forgot to say, as I arrived to give my talk on Voicethread, I found that there was no laptop available for me to use. The Headteacher stated that they are put away in a secure cupboard as soon as the school day ends. I therefore had to give a  talk about a brilliant computer program without them being able to see and hear it! I told them a few more sites for them to look up and they scribbled the addresses in their notebooks. One of them was “Wallwisher”  http://www.wallwisher.com/

I would love to get a wall set up and get the children to answer a question “how do you learn best?” and paste their electronic stickies onto the wall. I have a feeling that most of them would say that they learn best by using the power and potential of the web using their laptops, P.C.’s and phones as they do all the time at home.

This wall would be one big message from the children that Kevin has put so eloquently in his song…… “”We need our teachers to learn!”

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