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Unsure about iPads in your classroom?

Coding in the classroom

There's a huge debate raging at the moment about schools killing creativity. But of the hundreds of schools I’ve visited I haven’t met one teacher who sets out to be uncreative.

I see teachers are as stressed by standardised testing as their students. Often teachers are struggling just to keep their head above water in a world of fast-paced technological change.

This is compounded if you’re not, as one teacher put it, ‘a techno whizz’ . Can I reassure you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and that it’s never too late to say “I can”, or at least “I can try”. Your students will love you for it!

We are often fearful of failure. Failure of ‘the network’, failure of the devices, fear of a classroom riot when things don’t work, fear of looking foolish. If you’re not technology minded it often feels like a speeding train you’ve missed. Stood on the platform as it thunders past in a blur of apps and settings, perhaps having a secret wish that it would derail! Unless you are the unluckiest of teachers, there will be someone in your school who can slow the train down long enough to let you on.

Never be afraid to ask, what you think is a ‘silly question’ is one that has been asked countless times by others.

If you feel you have no support, then a quick Google search will reveal countless app tutorials and lesson ideas for you to digest.

Pinterest or Facebook will uncover lesson ideas by the thousands. For the more adventurous, get onto Twitter! The hardest thing is making the leap. Take the chance with your class. Work on the principle that 95 per cent of your class know more than you and embrace that.

Give students 15 minutes ‘playtime’ with each new app and then get them to explain it to you. It’s a journey of discovery and there’s nothing more powerful than students teaching teachers.

Yesterday I heard the phrase “ask three before me”, brilliant!

Virgil once said “Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”

So hop on board the technology train, learn something new and enjoy the ride.

This story appeared in the March 2017 edition of Australian Teacher Magazine.

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