Saturday, March 19, 2011

A short conversation with...Kyle B. Pace @kylepace

Kyle B. Pace

How long have you been teaching?

Next year will be my 12th year in education. I taught 3rd and 4th grades before becoming an Instructional Technology Specialist.

Has your educational philosophy changed since you began teaching?

It’s definitely changed. How could it not? Our whole view of learning is going to have to change to allow students to learn what they’re passionate about and how we assess that learning. I learned to teach the exact same way that teachers taught me when I went through my K-12 schooling. I began my teaching career thinking this was the way to teach. The last few years in particular I have learned so much about teaching. It’s come in so many forms, formal and informal. We have to focus on the learning and meeting students where they are at. From a technology standpoint that means more devices in students’ hands (school owned or not) during the school day, more blended learning opportunities outside of the bell schedule and outside the physical walls of our classrooms and schools. We are doing children a disservice if we don’t begin more of this now.

Has Twitter played a role in your evolution as a teacher? If so, how?

I am connected to so many great minds in the education world. Through their tweets, blog posts, webinars, etc. I am able to learn so much. For free! Some of these people are very well known education consultants that travel around the globe speaking to educators. But even more (and this is what makes it more awesome) are teachers like me that know the ins and outs of best practices because they’re with students every single day. It’s these teacher leaders that help me constantly be better at what I do. If I’m helping teachers get blogging going with their students, I can send out a tweet asking for tips and strategies from people like Bill Chamberlain or Becky Goerend who I know have done lots of this with their own students. Twitter allows for a type of networking that was not around when I was just starting (which wasn’t that long ago). I wish I would have had it. We’re better together and Twitter proves that every day.

What's the best advice you have received as a teacher (or can give to a new teacher)?

The best advice I have ever received as a teacher would probably be the importance of the relationship and trust that must be built with students and parents. No matter if the learning experiences involve tech/social media or not, we need support at home just as much as at school. From an instructional technology standpoint I think the same definitely holds true. We could be talking about allowing students to bring their own devices to use at school (which we should be making more accommodations for) and we have to keep the lines of communication open (frequently) if we want to garner parent support for future improvements and upgrades to what we’re doing now.

Kyle blogs here.

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