Here in HWDSB, we’ve been talking about how to transform relationships, environments and learning opportunities. The driver is pedagogy, but the accelerator is technology. Asking students to do this is one thing – but what about the educators? I’m interested to know how connected educators around our district use technology to accelerate their learning, so I’m asking them. I’d love to hear your reactions.
First up: HWDSB Director Manny Figueiredo. Manny is an authentic and honest leader who kindly agreed to be part of this series. He focuses on his own learning as well as the learning of others.
What led you into education?
When I was 12 and 13 years of age, I worked as an assistant camp counsellor in Cambridge where I grew up. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working with young children and other staff, and I decided that I would love to be a teacher. In addition, when I was in grade 7, my teacher was a great mentor who encouraged me to pursue teaching because he believed that I had a passion for learning and working with people that would make me a great teacher.
What are you go-to pieces of tech?
My iPhone, iPad Mini, laptop, and GPS in my vehicle. I also use the click-technology we have in the new Ed Centre to display agendas, documents and presentations at meetings.
Twitter or something else?
Twitter is a tool I use to connect to educational leaders and educators to learn about leadership research, change management, effective pedagogy, and embedding technology to enhance teaching and learning. I also use YouTube to organize family videos, learn new skills and to share visual and verbal instructions with others.
How has technology shifted the way you learn?
It has drastically changed the way I learn. In terms of accessing and organizing information, I use my mobile technology to have information at my fingertips. I also use OneNote to organize my notes and to have the ability to share or modify them in a quick and efficient manner. I have learned how to use my iPad to create and share and display presentations with Apple TV/AirPlay. In addition, YouTube has allowed me to learn new skills that I would not have taken the time to learn before, such as repairing my dishwasher and learning new songs on my guitar! I also use YouTube to create a few instructional videos that I have sent people rather than a lengthy email. Technology has changed the way I organize, facilitate, access, collaborate, share, travel and learn new skills.
What’s your best piece of advice for those wondering how to use tech to accelerate their learning?
My best advice would be to start small. Find one need in your professional or personal life and find an app, website, or tool that will fill this need. Then, stick to it and get rid of the old practice. Don’t try to maintain both practices as technology needs to address the need in a more engaging, accessible or efficient manner or otherwise it is not worth it!