Tech-savvy teach­ers

The Advertiser - Careers - - Front Page - STEVE RICE TOM BOW­DEN

MA­TURE work­ers must be adept with new tech­nol­ogy in the work­place to avoid be­ing left be­hind, a con­sul­tancy ex­pert says.

Cross­ways Con­sult­ing lead­er­ship coach and psy­chol­o­gist Dr Dar­ryl Cross says work­ers em­ployed at the turn of the cen­tury gen­er­ally be­lieved they would be able to ride out tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments. But he says this is no longer the case.

Dr Cross says the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis forced peo­ple to work, at least part-time if not full-time, well into their mid-80s, forc­ing them to em­brace new tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘It’s ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal for peo­ple to learn,’’ he says.

‘‘Re­tire­ment is not hap­pen­ing at 65 any more, it’s more likely 85 so peo­ple have to be across tech­nol­ogy.’’ Dr Cross says work­ers need to be pro­fi­cient in ba­sic skills in­clud­ing be­ing able to email, use Microsoft Of­fice pro­grams such as Word, Ex­cel, Pow­erPoint and Pub­lisher and us­ing com­pany in­tranets to ac­cess poli­cies and doc­u­ments.

He says it also is im­por­tant for em­ploy­ees to be able to man­age on­line diaries.

‘‘Peo­ple should know how to use Skype to keep in touch with fam­ily mem­bers, too,’’ he says.

Dr Cross says ed­u­ca­tion tools are ‘‘ar­chaic’’ and teach­ers need to be able to use mod­ern tech­nol­ogy to teach chil­dren.

He says peo­ple do not nec­es­sar­ily need to en­rol into a course to learn but can sit down with fam­ily mem­bers or chil­dren to keep up to speed.

Teach­ers are among the pro­fes­sion­als who have to adapt to new tech­nol­ogy as they change the way they teach.

For Pul­teney Gram­mar School Year Five teacher Robyn Cox, smart­boards have re­placed the black­boards, video play­ers and cas­sette recorders she used when she started teach­ing more than 20 years ago. Now Mrs Cox in­cor­po­rates tech­nol­ogy into a lot of the cur­ricu­lum and says it is a medium stu­dents en­joy and em­brace. ‘‘ We use in­ter­ac­tive white­boards with the chil­dren and they pro­duce a lot of their SOSE work us­ing IT as well,’’ she says.

‘‘Com­put­ers are just an­other ed­u­ca­tional tool to help them be in­ter­ested in their learn­ing.’’

Mrs Cox ad­mits it is dif­fi­cult for teach­ers to keep up with tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances but there is help avail­able.

‘‘We have per­sonal de­vel­op­ment days and younger staff that help us it. The chil­dren help me as well,’’ she says.

‘‘You have to be in­ter­ested and want to keep up with them as best you can.’’

Her school places a strong em­pha­sis on teach­ing stu­dents cy­ber safety be­cause most chil­dren know how to use com­put­ers.

‘‘They like it and it’s their medium,’’ she says.

Pic­ture: Matt Turner

Pul­teney Gram­mar teacher Robyn Cox keeps up with the evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy of her job.

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