Leading by example

Since arriving at my current school 5 years ago, I have been pushing for a stronger, and more relevant ICT environment for both students and teachers. As an introvert, I find myself having difficulty in explaining to colleagues what it is I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and why I’m doing it, mostly in regards to tablet use in the classroom. And so, my most viable option in promoting tech in the classroom has been through the notion of leading by example.

With iPads for the last few years, I have transformed a video listening class from a teacher-centered cinema format, to a student-centered format. In doing so, students are divided into groups from 2 to 4 students sharing 1 iPad with the necessary videos uploaded. This allows students to work with each other in completing the required work, with the teacher engaging with small groups, rather than an entire class.

The situation has always been that this was my style of teaching and that others were fine teaching the other way. Today however, a second teacher decided to try my format. His response was that he had never seen students work as diligently on their assignments as they had today. As a cinema format class, the teacher controls the video, and is responsible for keeping all students on task. This raises concerns because students learn at different paces and learn through different styles. When they are in the small groups, students can focus on their learning strengths and help each other, and it seems that my colleague took notice of this.

On a plus side, these same students had taken my class the year prior and had no issue changing into the group format, expressing their preference over the cinema format to my colleague.

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