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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.

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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      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

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

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        Last Updated on October 22, 2019

        How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Get Unstuck

        How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Get Unstuck

        There are plenty of people who successfully made a career change at the age of 40 or above:

        The Duncan Hines cake products you see in the grocery store are a good example. Hines did not write his first food guide until age 55 and he did not license his name for cake mixes until age 73.

        Samuel L. Jackson made a career change and starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction at the age of 46.

        Ray Kroc was age 59 when he bought his first McDonald’s.

        And Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at the age of 44.

        I could keep going, but I think you get the point. If you have a sound mind and oxygen in your lungs, you have the ability to successfully make a career change.

        In this article, I’ll look into why making a career change at 40 seems so difficult for you, and how to make the change and get unstuck from your stagnant job.

        What’s Holding You Back from Making a Career Change?

        There are a flood of amazing reasons to make a career change at 40. Heck, you could argue the benefits of making a career change at any age. However, there is something a little different about making a career change at 40.

        When you are 40, you probably have lots of “responsibilities” that come into the decision-making process. What do I mean by responsibilities, you ask?

        Responsibilities tend to be our fears and self-doubt wrapped in a bow of logic and reason. You may say to yourself:

        • I have bills to pay and a family to support. Can I afford the risk associated with a career change?
        • What about the friends I have made over the years? I cannot just abandon them.
        • What if I do not like my career change as much as I thought I would? I could end up miserable and stuck in a worse situation.
        • My new career is so different than what I have been doing, I need additional training and certifications. Can I afford this additional expense and do I have the time recoup my investment?
        • The economy is not the best and there is so much uncertainty surrounding a new career. Maybe it would be better to wait until I retire from this company in 15 years, and then I can start something new.

        If you have experienced any of these thoughts, they will only pacify you for a short period of time. Whether that time is a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years.

        Since you know that you prefer to do something else for a living, you start to feel stagnant in your current position.

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        Your reasons for inaction that used to work are no longer doing the trick. What used to be a small fissure in your dissatisfaction in your current position is now a chasm.

        Ideally, you never stay in a situation until that point, but if you did, there is still hope.

        4 Tips To Change Your Career at 40

        You do not have to feel stagnant in your current role any longer. You can take steps to conquer your fears and self-doubt so you can accomplish your goal of changing your career.

        The challenge of changing your career is not knowing where to begin. That feeling of overwhelm and the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most people from moving forward.

        To help you successfully change your career at the age of 40, follow these four tips.

        1. Value Your Time Above Money

        There is nothing more valuable than your time. You are likely receiving a pay-check or two every month that is replenishing your income. Money is something you can always receive more of.

        When it comes to your time, when it is gone, it is gone. That is why waiting for the perfect situation to make a career change is the wrong mindset to have.

        Realistically, you will never find the perfect situation. There will always be something that could be better or a project you want to finish before you leave.

        By placing your time above money, you will maximize your opportunity to succeed and avoid stagnation.

        If you feel disconnected when you are at work, understand that you are not alone. According to a Gallup Poll, only 32% of U.S. employees said they were actively engaged at work.[1]

        Whether you think your talents are not being properly utilized, the politics of promotion stress you out, or you feel called to do something else with your life; the time to act is now.

        Do not wait until you retire in another 10 to 20 years to make a career change. Put a plan in place to make a career change now. You will thank yourself later.

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        2. Build a Network

        Making a career change is not going to be easy, but that does not mean it is impossible.

        One benefit to being further along in your career is the people you associate with are further along in their career as well.

        Even if most of the people in your immediate network are not in your target industry, you never know the needs of the people with whom they associate.

        A friend of mine recently made a career change and entered the real estate industry. The first thing he did was tell everyone he knew that he was a licensed real estate agent.

        It was not as though he thought everyone he knew was getting ready to sell their home. He wanted to make sure he was in the front of our mind if we spoke to anyone purchasing or selling their home.

        You may have had a similar experience with a financial adviser canvasing the neighborhood. They wanted to let you know they were a local and licensed financial adviser. Whether you or someone you knew was shopping for an adviser, they wanted to make sure you thought of them first.

        The power of your network being further along in their career is they may be the hiring manager or decision-maker.

        You want to let people know you are considering a career move early in the process, so they are thinking of you when the need arises.

        Let me put it to you in the form of a question: When is the best time to let people know you have a snow shoveling business?

        In the summer when there is not a drop of snow on the ground.

        Let them know about your business in the summer. Then ask them if it is okay to keep in touch with them until the need arises. Then you want to spend the entire fall season cultivating and nurturing the relationship. As a result, when the winter comes around, they already know who is going to shovel their snow.

        If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, start throwing out those feelers before the need arises. Then you will be ahead of your competition who waited until the snow fell to start canvasing the neighborhood.

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        Learn about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

        3. Believe It Is Possible

        One of the greatest mistakes people make when they want to try something new, is they never talk to people living the life they want.

        If you only talk to friends who have not changed their career in 30 years, what kind of advice do you think they will give you? They are going to give you the advice that they live by. If they have spent 30 years in the same career, they most likely feel stability of career is essential to their life.

        In life, your actions often mirror your beliefs. Someone who wants to start a business should not ask for advice from someone who never started one.

        A person who never took the risk of starting a business is most likely risk adverse. Consequently, they are going to speak on the fact that most businesses fail within the first five years.

        Instead, if you talk to someone who is running a business, they will advice you on the difficulties of starting a business. However, they will also share with you how they overcame those difficulties, as well as the benefits of being a business owner.

        If you want to overcome your fears and self-doubt associated with changing your career at 40, you are going to need to talk to people who have successfully managed a career change.

        They are going to provide you a realistic perspective on the difficulties surrounding the endeavor, but they are also going to help you believe it is possible.

        Studies show the sources of your beliefs include,[2]

        “environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs.”

        By choosing to absorb the successes of others, you are choosing to believe you can change your career at 40. On the other hand, if you absorb the fears and doubts of others, you have chosen to succumb to your own fears and self-doubt.

        4. Put Yourself Out There

        You are most likely going to have to leave your comfort zone to make a career change at 40.

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        Reason-being, your comfort zone is built on the experiences you have lived thus far. So that means your current career is in your comfort zone.

        Even though you may be feeling stagnant and unproductive in your career, it is still your comfort zone. This helps explain why so many people are unwilling to pursue a career change.

        If you want to improve your prospects of launching your new career, you are going to need to attend industry events.

        Whether these events are local or a large conference that everyone attends, you want to make it a priority to go. Ideally you want to start with local events because they may be a more intimate setting.

        Many of these events have a professional development component where you can see what skill-sets, certification, and education people are looking for. Here you can find 17 best careers worth going back to school for at 40.

        You can almost survey the group and build your plan of action according to the responses you receive.

        The bonus of exposure to your new industry is you may find yourself getting lucky (when opportunity meets preparation) and creating a valuable relationship or landing an interview.

        Final Thoughts

        Whatever the reason, if you want to change your career, you owe it to yourself to do so. You have valuable in-sight from your current career that can help you position yourself above others.

        Start sharing your story and desire to change your career today. Attend industry events and build a mindset of belief. You have everything you need to accomplish your goal, you only need to take action.

        More About Career Change

        Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/HY-Nr7GQs3k via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] News Gallup: Employee Engagement In US, Stagnant In 2015
        [2] Indian J Psychiatry: The Biochemistry Of Belief

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