Long gone are the days when teaching was just about delivering hourly lectures to mostly an uninterested audience and/or giving home assignments. To be a respected and successful teacher today you need to know more than that, &new-age skills like blogging and social media are the order of the day in the life of a teacher.
Changing times usher in new technologies, trends and ideas in every area of work and profession. As such, staying current is one of the primary requirements of being relevant and true to your commitments in any particular chosen career path. If teaching is what you do for living, this argument carries even more weight since it’s a huge responsibility you bear on your shoulders of ensuring your students are the most learnt and ready to face the new challenges of the world.
Although the skills listed in this post seem like trivial additions to the key competencies that a teacher must have, nevertheless, if you want your actions as a teacher to have the maximum effect, learning these contemporary skills is indispensable. Moreover, being adept in these areas will have a positive effect on your Career prospects as a teacher.
Presentation skills: As a teacher the biggest test of your abilities is whether you are able to get your message or opinion across to the audience in an effective manner. In short, presentation skills are necessary for the success of your career. Delivering a captivating lecture includes a lot more than just memorizing facts, studying about the topic a night before and then blurting it all the next morning in front of your students.
With technological aids you can make the lecture so much more interesting and fun, that your students would be left asking for more every time. Whether it is utilizing the slideshow features of Microsoft PowerPoint or using the latest digital whiteboards, teaching become all the more effective by employing such presentation tools. However, the onus lies entirely on the teacher to make efforts to learn presentation skills for the benefit of his students and also his career in the longer run.
Online Research: Internet is a repository of humongous amount of information available freely for perusal of millions of people connected to it. Whatever might be your area of interest, the WWW will give you loads of data that will take you from a beginner’s level to an expert. However, with so much information it is easy to get lost or led astray by an inaccurate source. Therefore, not only you should be able to find the required data on the web, but more importantly, your efforts should be able to yield the correct data, facts and figures.
Building good internet search skills is integral to your success as a instructor as Internet is going to play an increasingly important role in teaching and education sector as a whole. Choosing effective search words, evaluating and understanding source reliability and knowing advanced search techniques for popular search engines such as Google are some of the ways in which you can improve your online research skills.
Blogging: Another result of the Internet’s pervasive and persistent influence on the lives of people, the phenomenon of blogging is already being used by teachers worldwide. Computer-savvy teachers use blogs to create a classroom that extends beyond the borders of a school hall. They are surprisingly easy to use for even the most technically challenged persons, serve as an excellent tool of communication with students and serve as a portal to foster a community of learners.
The biggest benefit of a blog is that it provides a space where teachers and students can collaborate to indulge in a friendly discussion without being confined within their formal roles, with each participating member having an equal opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions. By learning how to blog, teachers can provide online mentoring, inform students of class requirements, post handouts, and homework assignments.
The popularity and ubiquity of the social media networks amongst the students mean that teachers can utilize them for the purpose of outreaching a large audience and getting across a message within seconds
Social Media Networking: Learning is not just studying a textbook but also interacting and communicating amongst each other. The adoption of social media has become central to the education strategy of all the top colleges and universities of the world. Therefore, it is essential for every modern teacher to learn the ways of social media networking in the best interests of the students and their own career.
The most popularly used social media platforms in education include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. Educational institutions use the micro blogging platform Twitter to update students and teachers with the latest announcements. The popularity and ubiquity of these social media networks amongst the students mean that teachers can utilize them for the purpose of outreaching a large audience or getting across a message within seconds. In addition, social media facilitates close interaction alleviating the necessity of physical presence.
While many schools have adopted the social media successfully, the adoption is still non-uniform with many educational institutions still struggling to get their strategies regarding the application of social media right. If you happen to be an instructor at such a place, it is a golden opportunity for you to learn and lead the way for others. Besides doing untold good to your career as a teacher, it will also create a new awareness regarding the educational benefits of these social networks amongst the youth.
Saurabh Tyagi is an expert writer having interest in diverse topics like education, technology, career and Web 2.0. He is a social media enthusiast and a self-confessed gadget-freak, who loves to follow the latest happenings in the tech world. He has written on diverse topics such as art courses, art colleges, various B.Ed colleges and many more.