A Path to Becoming a Literate Educator

Ever wonder what teachers do after work?Last week, a teacher came up to me and asked what she should do to develop the 21st century skills I was talking about.  But it’s a hard thing to explain in two minutes off the top of my head — and it’s not the first time we’ve heard that question.  It would be nice if I could point them to an online course that I’m managing or some other billable offering.  But that’s simply not what I do — nor can I say, “Buy my book!

So, I tell them to do what I’ve done — read blogs.  Find some people who are talking about what you want to learn, and from them, you’ll learn of others with ideas and practices to share. 

Then it occurred to me that it might be useful to have a set of suggested steps that I can point folks to.  So here it is.  It’s not complete nor is it in any way definitive.  ..and I’m looking forward to your suggestions. 

A Path to Becoming a 21st Century Literate Educator — Self Development

  1. Find two or more other educators in your school who are interested in learning and using emerging information and communication  technologies.  It would be of enormous advantage if you can include your schools library media specialist.
  2. Identify the appropriate person in your school or district who can provide technical support and configuration for your increasingly utilized computers and network.  Bake them some chocolate chip cookies.
  3. Identify some edu-bloggers who are talking about the emerging ICTs you are considering.  See the Bloggers to Learn From wiki, contributed to by a world community of educators.
  4. Delegate!  Assign each member of your team some of the selected blogs to follow, and share specific posts with each other.
  5. Read, study, and discuss books about teaching and learning and the world we’re doing it in.  See the Books to Learn From. wiki, contributed to by a world community of educators.
  6. Schedule regular meetings (once or twice a month) at a local restaurant, coffee shop, or pizzeria (preferably with WiFi).  Meet and discuss what you’ve learned and what you want to learn.
  7. Start a group del.icio.us (A social bookmarks service) account for organizing and sharing web resources.
  8. Start a wiki for posting notes, links, and step-by-step instructions.
  9. Join one or more of the Ning social networks, such as: School 2.0, Library 2.0, Classroom 2.0.
  10. Start your own blogs for sharing your reflections on what you are learning and how you are learning it.
  11. Start experimenting in your class and share the results.
  12. Share your results with other teachers in your school and Invite them into your conversation.

Start to model, in your job as a teacher, the practice of being a master learner.

Image Citation:
Plott, Wendi. “Day 15- Jan. 15, 2008- Ever wonder what teachers do after work? Here’s a hint:).” Shining Superstar’s Photostream. 15 Jan 2008. 10 Feb 2008 <http://flickr.com/photos/10932478>.


Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.