Advertising
Advertising

18 Things a 21st Century Teacher SHOULD Do and HOW To Do Them!

18 Things a 21st Century Teacher SHOULD Do and HOW To Do Them!

DO you know what an IFTTT recipe is? What about how to App Smash something? The technology available at our fingertips is mind blowing, but all too often, we aren’t even close to using it to its capacity. As a teacher, I have seen my fellow colleagues beat their heads against a wall (metaphorically speaking) as they attempt to hold back the tide of technology as students try to help it wash into the classroom. What are we so afraid of? Surely it’s well and truly time to get ahead of the game and teach our students that their phones and tablets can be used for more than game playing and social media.

We are in the 21st century and we need to recognise that these devices can actually make our lives easier! We already know that students want to be using their devices, they also like the curiosity challenge, so we should be using this to our advantage. Before you know it, the kids will be on-task and with less behaviour management issues to deal with when we can make activities interactive & interesting.

For those who are struggling to catch up to an increasingly digital world, let me help solve the awkwardness for you. Here is a list of ideas that I gathered from HookED on Innovation, that help guide you from “what the heck does that mean” to “ah, so that’s how I can use this in my classroom.”

1. Post a question of the week on your class blog.

If you don’t already have a class blog, you should seriously consider it. Here’s a link which guides you through 15 blog sites you could use and explains the pros and cons of each. If you’re not sure what happens on blogs, here’s a link to some forward-thinking 21st century teachers with successful classroom blogs so you can get some ideas for what to include in your blog. This strategy is a great way to have your students own what happens in your classroom and hone their literacy skills! Happy blogging!

2. Participate in a Twitter chat.

Whether you are a tweet-a-holic or are still trying to understand what a #hashtag means, this link explains 50 ways you can use Twitter in the classroom. If you don’t even know how to get to Twitter, here is a helpful video that will guide you through where to find it and how to get started.

Advertising

3. Make a parody of a hit song.

A personal favourite of mine is Autorap, an iPhone app that lets you speak into the phone and automatically converts it into rap song and puts it to music! One of my year eight students showed me this app and it certainly changed how we do revision now. Sometimes the words are difficult to hear, so I like to make a quick movie to the soundtrack. Here is a link to an example, in which I used My Talking Pet, Windows Movie Maker and Autorap #AppSmash.

4. Create an infographic as a review.

Visual cues help us store and access information which increases the chances that your students will remember what you’ve taught them. If you’re not the creative type, you can use a free template, or make your own using PowerPoint. Infographics are a must for the 21st century teacher.

infographic

    5. Go paperless.

    In Australia, we use 2.4 million tonnes of paper each year. How much paper does your organisation use? Here are 15 tips for going paperless in your school.

    6. Create your own class #hashtag.

    This 21st century teacher strategy allows Twitter to categorise your tweets so they are all grouped together and easier to find. Here’s a quick link to get you started.

    Advertising

    7. Integrate selfies into your curriculum.

    Show me a student who doesn’t like a good ol’ selfie and you’ve just found yourself an alien (or perhaps an undercover police officer). Using this strategy personalizes the learning and makes it more memorable. I utilised this strategy when my year 12 Science in Practice class had an assessment piece making a user guide for the equipment in our Performing Arts Centre. The photos they used needed to be authentic and recognisable as them using the equipment. It worked so well and really made sure they knew how to use the equipment rather than getting a random pic from Google. All you need for this one is a smartphone, iPod with camera capabilities, or if you go old-school…a camera.

    8. Curate a class Pinterest account.

    Using Pinterest with students allows them to collaborate with others to curate information. Critical thinking skills come in play when students locate, analyse, and select quality information for a board answering an essential question for a research project. Check out this guide for uses, project ideas and a rubric for assessment!

    9. App Smash something.

    It’s what the cool kids do! What is it? Content created in one app transferred to and enhanced by a second app and sometimes a third. Preferably the final product is then published to the web–remember, digital presence is the new résumé (CV). Here’s how to smash it up! Note: #2 uses App Smashing technology…look at you go already!

    10. Use Augmented Reality.

    Combine the real world and computer-generated realities for an interactive and mind-blowing lesson. You will surely look like a ninja with this strategy. Warning: your students are quite likely to be engaged…are you ok with that?

    11. Create an IFTTT recipe.

    What the heck is that? IFTTT (abbreviation of “If This Then That” and pronounced like “gift” without the “g”) is a web-based service which allows other services (e.g., Gmail, Google Reader, Instagram, Craigslist) to be programmed by means of simple conditional statements (called “recipes”). This strategy essentially packages everything that you are interested in and allows for some automation which is time saving! Here’s how to use it.

    Advertising

    12. Perform in a lip dub video.

    Perhaps we’ll see this strategy in the 21st century school camps. It’s touted as a fun and unique way to bring your team together and learn how to work together. In the very least, it does look like fun!

    13. Create an ebook.

    With so many templates out there, making an ebook for your class work is definitely impressive. In Australia, ebooks represent about 10 percent of the market (Slattery, 2013). This means that the market has a long way to grow and teaching students this skill now could help develop a passive income strand before they are even out of high school. Flex your 21st century teacher muscles and use an app, or just make it in PowerPoint or Microsoft Word and save it as a PDF–it’s that easy! Snappy is also a great resource to use, when you click on it, it looks a little boring, but download the program and it’s super easy to use!

    14. Produce a class audio podcast.

    State of the News Media (2011) estimated there were 2,231 education podcasts produced. This is not many when you consider that Apple put the total number of podcasts at around 250,000. This 21st century teacher skill is a great way for students to show depth of understanding as well as to learn digitally relevant skills that could easily have them as the next Steve Jobs, before they even graduate. Here are some ways to get into podcasting.

    Podcast
       Image by Michael McLean

      15. Use a backchannel.

      How many times a day do you tell your students to put their phones away during their lesson? What if there was a way to harness that interest and propensity for conversation and tie it into your lesson? There is and it’s been around for a little while now; it’s called a Backchannel. While this sounds awesome, you need to put some constraints around it or your lesson will be lost forever. I learned this the hard way, in true ‘crash and burn’ style but I can tell you that it certainly is the fastest way to learn. I would definitely use it again with implementing some strategies before starting.

      Advertising

      16. Create comics.

      Comics are the perfect way to help engage learners in reading and getting them to use their imaginations (something we seem to train out of our kids as they get older). These can be used to show understanding for a concept, practice active problem solving, improve writing skills and even help students understand body language cues. You don’t need to be super computer literate, but this 21st century teaching strategy is so easy to implement.

      21st Century Teacher skills

        Image by www.makebeliefscomix.com

        17. Take a photo of class work.

        Technology is here to stay and the quicker you harness its benefits, the easier your job will be. Use your mobile phone to record the work covered during the lesson and then upload it to your class blackboard/Moodle/internet page. This way if students are away, they can easily catch up on the work covered.

        18. Peer review assignments.

        Have students complete the draft of an assignment and post it to their individual blog. Just because you are a 21st century teacher, that doesn’t mean that everything needs to be done with technology (shock!). This strategy could just as easily be done using a planning template. The idea is that classmates should go into at least three of their classmates’ blogs/template and give hot and cold comments as constructive feedback. Hot comments are when students outline what needs to change and cold comments are specific things that were done well. (e.g. Hot–Make sure your writing is in third person. Cold–Your paragraphs link well.)

        For more ideas, read 21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This Year.

        Featured photo credit: Students in class via shutterstock.com

        More by this author

        18 Things a 21st Century Teacher SHOULD Do and HOW To Do Them!

        Trending in Work

        1 Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change) 2 8 Things to Consider When Making a Career Change 3 6 Important Interview Questions for Employers to Ask 4 15 Best Interview Questions to Ask Employees 5 10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on January 13, 2020

        Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

        Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

        Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

        Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

        Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

        Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

        How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

        The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

        You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

        Physical Signs

        Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

        It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

        In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

        Mental Signs

        One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

        Advertising

        I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

        Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

        • The tension in your neck
        • Difficulties with sleeping
        • Unable to concentrate
        • High anxiety
        • Depression

        If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

        Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

        Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

        The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

        Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

        Desire for an Increase of Salary

        The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

        At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

        Overnight Decision

        Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

        Rejected for a Promotion

        I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

        Advertising

        Bored at Work

        Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

        A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

        • How long have you worked in your career?
        • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
        • Do you receive recognition?
        • Can you consider working in a new department?

        If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

        How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

        I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

        One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

        It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

        A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

        You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

        • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
        • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
        • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

        How to Make a Career Change Successfully

        The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

        1. Write a Career Plan

        A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

        Advertising

        You can learn how to set your career plan here.

        2. Weigh Your Options

        If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

        You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

        3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

        It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

        A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

        • Economic factors
        • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
        • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
        • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
        • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

          A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

          4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

          A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

          • What is required to be successful in the role?
          • What certification or educational development is needed?
          • What are the challenges of the role?
          • Is there potential for career advancement?

          A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

          Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

          Advertising

          5. Research Salary

          Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

          It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

          6. Be Realistic

          If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

          For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

          Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

          7. Volunteer First

          A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

          Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

          Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

          8. Prepare Your Career Tools

          I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

          • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
          • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
          • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
          • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

          Bottom Line

          It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

          Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

          More About Career Change

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

          [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
          [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
          [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

          Read Next