Last week, our Education class was very fortunate to have a guest speaker come into our lecture. Susan Kwiecien (along with a business partner) discussed with us her personally created resource Cube For Teachers. This educational database invites teachers (working within the Ontario curriculum) to share resources with other teachers, broadening the database of activities, ideas and lessons available to the Ontario Teacher. What is so wonderful about this, is that all the sources are verified to be in line with the Ontario Curriculum guidelines, and allows for teachers to effectively find and manage their own resource base online. Honestly, I was so excited and thrilled to look deeper into "The Cube" and fully understand its capabilities. In the broad horizons of the 21st Century educational skills we have been studying in class I have been very focussed on how 21st Century skills and literacies can positively benefit a student yet, I failed to fully imagine how these tools and resources can also benefit a teacher.
As I continue to find myself unsure about my prospects in teachers college, finding resources like "The Cube" help to reassure me that we are not alone in our place within the educational system. Seeing the ways in which teachers from across the province (and country) can positively affect each other as well as their willingness to share is a very positive notion. Gone are the days of long Google searches where individuals were asked to find their own resources and situate them within a curriculum approved context. Instead comes an online community in which teachers help each other to situate these resources, where teachers themselves become the curators if their own online platform. In learning about these resources something hit me. That as teachers, we will not be alone in our work.
It sounds silly, but in my trepidation surrounding my future career, it never occurred to me that there is a very prevalent social support system within the education world. Not only will we have our peers and professors during teachers college, but every placement and volunteer opportunity can potentially lead to the creation and development of ones social network. Furthermore, with the emergence of online communities such as OSSEMOOC or Cube For Teachers, educators and teacher candidates are invited into a conversation with a broad and welcoming network of peers. In the 21st Century context, educators are asked and able to integrate technology into their classrooms. In the BYOD generation, where most students have some sort of technology teachers are asked to make learning come alive with technology. Teachers; however, forget about the capacity for professional development as a result of online resources and communities. In seeing Cube For Teachers I think it is plain to see that the capacity for technological learning does not stop with our student, and instead extends into the pedagogical approaches and support for ourselves as well.