10 – TeachersFirst, teachers also need to learn

WHAT

There is no perfect tool, computer application, book, technique, teacher or student. By doing this blog, I try to give my readers different ideas of applications, web tools and technologies that can be used in the classroom. But my main goal is to do a deeper thinking about these technologic tools’ pedagogical relevance. To do so, I look at different reviews, comments, blogs, instructional videos, I try tools and build my own idea. I want to share my critics and analysis with you to be able to, maybe, bring your perception further.

TeachersFirst happens to be my favorite tool found over the web so far to combine technology and education, and one of my main inspiration for this blog. TeachersFirst, as its name suggests, is a tool for teachers. It is a free, advertising-free teacher resource web site offered as a service to teachers by The Source for Learning, (non-profit learning and technologies corporation). TeachersFirst is sharing the best of the web for teaching through “value-added” reviews, original content, and practical implementation and practices ideas.

 

HOW IT WORKS

To use TeachersFirst, you do not need to sign up, but I suggest you to; it is free and you can have easier access to personalized content. You can customize your “My Start Page”, mark resources as “Favorites” and “tag” them to retrieve them easily, share experiences, comment resources and rate them. (Which I did not do because I do not have the chance to experience apps with actual students). It also offers you a “Teacher’s Public Page” on which you can create schedules, share with your students and show your “Favorites” TeachersFirst activities or reviews (access my TF public Page here). To do so just click on “add to my favorites” while looking to an article. The search box allows you to search by Grades, Subjects, Keywords and Phrases. The search engine is really powerful and will find 99.9% of the time something related to what you are looking for.

HOW IT WORKS

To use TeachersFirst, you do not need to sign up, but I suggest you to; it is free and you can have easier access to personalized content, customize your “My Start Page”, mark resources as “Favorites” and “tag” them to retrieve them easily, share experiences and comment resources and rate them. (Which I did not do because I do not have the chance to experience apps with actual students). It also offers you a “Teacher’s Public Page” on which you can create schedules, share with your students and show your “Favorites” like TeachersFirst activities or reviews (access my TF public Page here). To do so just click on “add to my favorites” while looking to an article. The search box allows you to search by Grade, Subject, Keywords and Phrase. The search engine is really powerful and will find 99.9% of time something related to what you are looking for.

Teachersfirst

Use the resource (why):
You may want to use TeachersFirst to help you find educator-reviewed web resources (over 12,000 reviews), lesson plans/units, and ready-to-go content you can share on student computers, a projector, or interactive whiteboard, and special topic collections of web resources.

tips: if you do not find a specific tool, you can also use Google search engine and type ‘’TeachersFirst.com + What you are looking for’’ it’s probably there somewhere 😉

 

TeachersFirst, the resource, is more efficient being a technological tool (web) than paper. The web gets the distribution cheaper, the resource bigger, and the access easier. As new tools appear every day on internet, Teachers First’s content needs to be updated frequently and the website allows instant diffusion. The web also allows teachers to join a community for them where they share experiences, genuine ideas, feedback, and cooperation. This collaboration gives teachers the opportunity to create bigger and better teaching and learning experiences than alone. (Just like a big Teachers Jigsaw)

TeachersFirst is really rich and has an impressive variety of content available. The whole tool would require more than an article to review properly. The “How it is applicable to the classroom” part of this article focus on TeachersFirst’s “educator-reviewed web resources” feature.

The reviews of tool are written and edited entirely by experienced, professional educators. They include a description of the tool, its features and a quick tutorial on how to use it. The most important part is the “in the classroom” section. It gives ideas of activities and classroom applicability of the tool to inspire teachers. What makes their resources the best is that it includes a reflection on how a technology tool can bring learning further. It is different than other reviews on the web. It gives both practical application (activities) but it is also theoretical (why the tool use is relevant to help students to learn). It brings teachers to higher level thinking. It changes the perception of an educational tool to really make it a learning tool.

I often say that a tool is a tool, even if built for educational purposes. What makes it educational is the teacher and how he uses it. TeachersFirst is a tool that can help you in that process. It does not make activities efficient and relevant pedagogically, it helps you to think them this way.

Thank you TeachersFirst,
Good Luck teachers
Monsieur Blanchet

Advertisements
Standard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s