Teaching Kids

I have been thinking about a new initiative on Teaching Kids. It is driven by several (self) discoveries.

  • I am slowly discovering that I love teaching. But I constantly fight for student’s attention and keeping my teaching interesting and useful.
  • A few experiments with a Social Causes Club at KCGTech convinced me that we can help kids a lot.
  • I have always been interested in how people learn and how people think It is a fascinating area of research and exploration.
  • Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence and Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms had deep influence on my thinking about Intelligence, Learning and the role of Play.
  • As a parent I was clueless about the best way to help my kids learn. I just did whatever my parents did to encourage me. Now thanks to the World Wide Web and enormous resources available, we can all learn a lot more about learning to learn.
  • Kids need help. So do parents, grandparents, extended families and teachers.
  • Technology innovation in Tablets, Speech, Cloud Computing, Natural Language Processing enable phenomenal access. We need to find ways of leveraging technologies to make learning fun.
  • I strongly resonate with Tim O’Reilly’s Work on Stuff That Matters. I think helping people learn better will help make the world a better place.

So hear is what I am doing.

  • Invested a few dollars in getting some domain names (always my first step) – Moms as Teacher, Dads as Teachers and Family As Teachers. I started with Moms as teachers first and then decided that I need to get the entire family in.
  • Created a Facebook group Resources for Teaching Kids and invited a couple of parents.
  • Doing some research on Learning Apps for Kids. Here is a good starting point on a list of free learning apps.
  • Checking out MIT Scratch and App Inventor
  • Started a couple of student projects on learning apps
  • Initiated some research on understanding the marketplace

There is a lot more to do. I think I will first start with gathering and sharing information about learning tools for students, families and teachers that are available freely.

If you are interested in this area and are a parent, grandparent or a teacher, consider joining the Facebook group Resources for Teaching Kids and share your knowledge and opinions.

Multiple Roles of a Teacher

The ten roles of modern day teacherFrom Fixing The Schools a Sketchbook from Kauffman Foundation.

Teachers need to play multiple roles since they have a mix of students coming from very different backgrounds. Students have:

  • Different levels of knowledge
  • Different learning styles
  • Different levels and different types of intelligence (see multiple intelligences by Howard Gardner)
  • Come from different family backgrounds, resulting in different levels of involvement by parents

To handle a mix of students, teachers need to:

  • Knows the subject matter well and in depth
  • Have the ability to answer why questions
  • Need to use multiple techniques to deal with learning styles and learning approaches

This picture is a great depiction of how a teacher needs to play multiple roles.