Tag: administrators

New Podcast: #20: 6 Skills You Should Have

Image source: https://conventionsofsociety.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/napoleon_1.jpeg

Image source: https://conventionsofsociety.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/napoleon_1.jpeg

Just uploaded a new episode of the Moss Free Show entitled 6 Skills You Should Have. That’s have, as in already. These are baseline, starter-level skills that all educators (administrators included) should possess by this time. I was inspired after reading about 10 different such articles and blog posts this week, some with as many as 33 skills teachers need (You see–I’m actually much more concise than you gave me credit for!). These kinds of posts are extremely abundant the past few months. I found examples from Discovery, Edudemic, THE Journal, Edutopia, just to name a few. As I read, I started to see that the vast, diverse skills were connected by just a few, broader categories, and this podcast/blog post was born. In summary, the 6 skills are:

  • Find information–Use a variety of tools and strategies to find exactly the thing or information that is needed, when it is needed.
  • Communicate–Use the right tool for the message and the audience; be able to use a variety of means and media, whether written, images, sound, video, etc.
  • Connect–Use technology’s networking capabilities to build relationships with other educators so that you can share ideas, questions, answers, frustrations, victories, etc.
  • Learn–Know how to develop your professional knowledge and skills using online resources.
  • Wisdom–Be able to avoid behaviors and practices that would endanger you or your students safety or privacy, your professional reputation, or your hardware/network.
  • Fit–Understand how technology fits into the flow of instruction in ways that make learning more relevant, exciting, and powerful. This should become as natural as blinking.

I explore these 6 to a little greater depth in the podcast below. Give it a listen and let me know–did I leave anything out? Am I way off or getting close?

Educator Internet Use

I used the Google Documents survey tool to create a brief survey over the use of Internet tools by educators in our district. Seventy teachers responded. The survey turned out as expected, generally, with a few surprises. Some of the results:

Time spent online away from work:

  • 31% <2 hours
  • 37% 2-5 hours
  • 16% 5-10 hours
  • 16% >10 hours

(This was encouraging to me, as it is clear that they are spending quite a bit of time online, more than I would have guessed. The key is to be able to take advantage of this, by getting them interested in visiting and using sites that will enrich their instruction and help them grow as teachers.)

Types of sites being visited (percent of respondents who regularly visit each type of site):

  • News (84%)
  • Educational/Informational (76%)
  • Entertainment (41%)
  • Video (26%)
  • Medical (26%)
  • Blogs (26%)
  • Photo editing/sharing (23%)
  • Games (20%)
  • Wikis (17%)
  • Social networks (13%)
  • Other (40%)

(Teachers appear to primarily use the Internet for information gathering, rather than content creation or socializing, although it was a pleasant surprise that fully 1/4 of respondents spend regular time on Web 2.0 sites, such as blogs and social networks.)

Specific sites visited (percent of respondents who have visited each site at any time–top 10 listed only):

  • Google (91%)
  • Yahoo! (90%)
  • YouTube (76%)
  • Wikipedia (64%)
  • MySpace (50%)
  • Blogger (37%)
  • Facebook (33%)
  • Wikispaces (30%)
  • Edublogs (29%)
  • TeacherTube (24%)

(Again, there appears to be a heavy emphasis on locating/consuming information. Some sites that garnered almost no responses include Twitter (3%), Digg (3%), Bloglines (3%), and StumbleUpon (2%).)

Active participation (percent of users with active, contributing accounts at each site):

  • Yahoo! (49%)
  • Google (41%)
  • MySpace (20%)
  • Facebook (14%)
  • Blogger (11%)
  • Edublogs (10%)
  • YouTube (10%)
  • Wikipedia (6%)
  • Wikispaces (6%)
  • Wet Paint (6%)

(Assuming that the affirmative responses for the Google and Yahoo! accounts are primarily email or IM, the evidence again seems to show clearly that very few educators here are creating any content. It is encouraging to see as many social network users as the survey indicates. StumbleUpon, WordPress, and Twitter each were blanked in this category.)

The final question changed directions a bit, as I wanted to get a little feel for the resources being used in actual instruction. The percent of each tool that educators have at some point used in their instruction:

  • Photo/video sites (50%)
  • Online bookmarks (27%–I’m very dubious about this one, given the fact that 1% responded that they had a del.icio.us account. I believe the question was misunderstood.)
  • Blogs (24%)
  • Podcasts (24%)
  • Wikis (23%)
  • RSS/XML readers (9%)

I’d be interested in any feedback I could receive regarding the results of the survey and what they mean. My first reaction is that I need to be doing more to facilitate creative use of Internet tools. Far too little creative content is being created and shared by the students in our district. Any other thoughts?

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