Tech in classrooms prompts teacher training

  • 04/07/2015

Many New Zealand teachers feel under-equipped to deal with the use of technology in the classroom.

The Education Council says while some schools are pioneers in the use of technology for learning, others are lagging far behind.

At Taupaki Primary, nearly every subject is a lesson in tech. iPads and laptops are almost old-school, as students do not just use technology but they also build with it, from websites to 3D-printed robots.

Taupaki Primary School is one of a small group leading the charge in integrating technology across its subjects.

"If we look at the entire landscape of New Zealand schools, I think there's also a lot of people who are not equipped [and] who are feeling nervous about bringing technology into the classroom," says Stephen Lethbridge, Taupaki Primary principal. "We need to change that. We need to support them to be leading change."

A recent government survey showed only 14 percent of teachers felt they were up to speed on using digital devices for learning. The Education Council wants to see more opportunities for teachers to up-skill.

The Mindlab by Unitec, which opened its fourth hub in Christchurch yesterday, offers the country's first postgraduate qualification for teachers in digital and collaborative learning. Eight-hundred have been through its doors in its first year.

"I'm becoming a better teacher," says Mr Lethbridge. "This course has enabled me to bring in new strategies in my classroom.

"I've been able to up-skill myself, but also the children have been teaching me along the way."

Mindlab founder Frances Valentine says demand for these courses is only going to increase.

"High schools are the ones that are starting to feel the brunt of an entire generation who have grown up in a classroom with digital devices," Mr Valentine says, "and in few years' time they're going to hit our tertiary environments as well."

And it is not just the teachers who should be up-skilling. Experts agree that parents also need to keep pace.

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source: newshub archive