Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Teaching Teachers

I ventured into 'teaching' adults sometime last year. Addressing an adult group has never been something which I relish. But I guess my passion the subject was compelling enough to make me do it. It started last year when I met an old friend at a meeting. I was sharing with her how useful the iPad can be as a teaching tool. Before we parted ways, she told me that I should share what I know with the teachers. And if she may, she'd like to have me over at her school to share my experiences. And that started this whole thing on teaching teachers....

My iPad has now replaced the chalkboard. I find it a most beneficial tool in class. Classrooms should discard the dusty chalkboard. It is outdated. It's way too tiring to use it too. Our classrooms should evolve with the changing environment.

The iPad is my main teaching tool. It is my interactive white board. It enables me to use mind maps in class. I play movie clips to reinforce literature in class. Video clips make my lessons more interesting. I 'invite' guest speakers like David Gallo into my classes via apps like TEDTalks. I have special apps to illustrate certain points. In short, the iPad has enabled me to do so much more with the same amount of time. I feel less tired too... has to do with not having to write on the chalkboard. More work gets done now. And I think too learning is more fun.

During the hols, I went down south to give a training session for teachers in an international school.... a first for me. The response from the teachers were very encouraging... It was the first for everyone of them too, to see the iPad and AppleTV in action. Many were wowed by what the iPad could do. At the end of the session, a few asked if I would be going back to teach them again. I am taking that as a compliment as that, for me is their acknowledgement that my 'lesson' was effective.

Teaching adults is different. It is more difficult to move them from their comfort zones. Many give up too because they find technology daunting. And like the students in our system, many have also been dulled down by the years of slow rot. Vietnamese school kids are now ahead of our own in some subjects. And that's kinda depressing.

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