Grabbing the proverbial bull by its digital horns: the start of my new professional digital competencies

Day 1: Sunday 15th March 2020

As a large part of humanity sits shellshocked in their homes as they observe how the new Coronavirus is shaping our realities and transforming our daily lives as we have come to know them, the educational world is on the brink of its own transformation. As an experienced teacher who has always tried to keep up with the times as much as I can in terms of my own pedagogy, I cannot help feeling that I am about to enter a stage of my career where I am forced to take notice of the many tools around me, in this case those of a digital nature, and figure out in no time what to do with them in a way that is both meaningful and effective. I am undertaking an unprecedented journey in which my ‘professional digital competencies’ (Engen, 2019) will be challenged, developed and ultimately improved in some shape or form. Having a clear ‘Continuity of Learning’ plan from my school in place, as well as hot-off-the-press guidelines from the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO, 2020) and many other fantastic resources to plough through, for example from the company In Thinking, I have decided that I am going to make the most of this opportunity to grab the proverbial bull by its digital horns and learn something about myself as a teacher. I am not sure that I have any choice in the matter, but as long as I am bound to this new virtual teaching space for an indefinite period of time, I am going to take the time to capture what happens as I ‘domesticate’ (Silverstone, 2006) technology; this will be ‘a process of adapting, integrating and redefining technology’ (Engen, 2019) within my own school and personal teaching and learning context. I am not pretending that the thought does not overwhelm me somewhat, but let’s see how far I get. Now where is that bull?!

References

Engen, B. K. (2019). Understanding social and cultural aspects of teachers’ digital competencies, Comunicar, 61 (27), 9-18

The International Baccalaureate Organization (2020). Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools. IBO: Cardiff

Silverstone, R (2006). Domesticating domestication. Reflections on the life of a concept. Maidenhead: Open University Press

 

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