(Credit: Alec Couros)
Yes, this looks a little overwhelming, but it really doesn’t take too long to do some investigating and to figure out what pieces are important to you in your professional life and what pieces could be used in your traditional and virtual classrooms. Fortunately, most of these tools are easy to use and can be mastered with little or no help. The key part is to be thinking about the pedagogical aspects and to start creating opportunities for students to use the tools in their learning.
Allowing your students to use these tools can give them some new and exciting ways of demonstrating their learning, and at the same time can provide alternatives for matching activities with learning styles while promoting cooperation, sharing, and the building of a learning community.
Teachers must be proficient in these skills in order to model good practices for their students to ensure that students use the tools ethically and safely, and to help them include these skills in learning. You don’t need to be an expert in all the tools — leave that up to the students. As a teacher, you need to be able to guide the students in picking the right tool for the task by giving them some exemplars and modelling the use of some tools.