Week 8 Robotics

Week 8 Robotics: Can you Teach More Than You Know?

I believe that you can teach more than you know. Just think back when you were a first year teacher. Did you know everything that you had to teach? Well I know I didn’t. I got a mentor to help with lesson plans, and talked to other teachers. Even then, I didn’t know everything. I had to do a lot of searching, reading, and looking up things I didn’t know. So I know you can teach more than you know. With technology you can also teach more than you know. Trierweiler, (2015) said, “First, survey your students about what, if any, technology they use at home then have an open class discussion about technology with your students. Talk to your students and families and you’ll see which apps and favorite sites your students use.” You will find that students will be excited to share and teach others something they know.

Even with all of this technology in our hands, many teachers are not using it correctly. Seventy-five percent of teachers say they regularly use technology in their classrooms. However, only 40 percent of students report that technology is used in their classrooms (Trierweiler, 2015). Today’s students are so tech savvy, they can sense those missed opportunities. Only four out of ten students surveyed by CDW-G felt their schools were meeting their needs (Trierweiler, 2015). Yet the CDW-G survey found that just 30 percent of students say their schools ask for their input on technology. Worse, while 75 percent of teachers feel they understand how students want to use technology as a learning tool, only 49 percent of their students agree. She suggests setting up school-wide panels where students can offer their input on the curriculum and how technology can fit into it (Trierweiler, 2015).

In today’s dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming “more nuanced, more seamless,” and it flows back and forth from students to teachers (Barseghian, 2011.) This is how the classroom should flow. Just because you are the teacher doesn’t mean that you have to be the expert on everything. In today’s world, teachers and students are learning from each other in all sorts of ways. Sharing information and connecting with others has proven to be a powerful tool in education. Students are collaborating with each other through Skpe, blogs, and other tools. Teachers are also connecting with other teachers. They can share ideas and lesson plans and get advice on some things they are not sure of. The idea is simple: by working together, students figure out how to find common ground, balance each others’skills, communicate clearly, and be accountable to the team for their part of the project–just as they will someday in the work place (Barseghian, 2011).

“Given the growing momentum of these trends, what does it mean for students, teachers, schools, and the education community at large? Teachers’and students’relationships are changing, as they learn from each other. Teachers roles are shifting from owners of information to facilitators and guides to learning” (Barseghian, 2011). I find that when I don’t know something, I will ask the students and sometimes they will have the answer. This also shows that it is ok to ask for help and not to know everything. They can see that sometimes even their teachers need help.

In the article “Why You Should Teach What You Know, Even If You Aren’t an Expert?”Cooper writes, “The more you teach, the more people will see you as an expert. And the more people see you as an expert, the more opportunities you’ll get to teach. It’s okay to not have all the answers, and it’s okay to be wrong.” Research also shows that when we explain something to others we come to understand it better ourselves. This is why it is important for you to have your students teach each other. If I am helping a student and another student needs help, I would ask another student to help them. Not only does the student feel good because I asked them to help another student but it also gives me time to work with other students. In a classroom full of 30-35 students, I am not going to be able to help them all. If I know of some students who know what we are doing, I would ask them to help others who need help. Students love to be the teacher and help others.

Cooper also said, “Successful people start before they feel ready. Teaching is no exception. Don’t worry about whether you’ve hit “expert” status yet, or how big (or small) your audience is. Focus on what you’ve learned, or what you’re learning right now, and how you can share those lessons in a way that will help others. And don’t forget, there’s always someone who knows less than you. Go help them.”I know that I feel like this at times. I feel like if I don’t know a subject completely then I don’t want to teach it. What I’ve found is it is ok to teach something you don’t know. A few years ago, I was having the kids do a project with iMovie. This was the first time I played around with iMovie. I talked to the librarian and she knew a little about iMovie. I talked to the kids and a few of them had done iMovie. So I took the plunge, even though I didn’t feel like I could help the students. What I found was the students who did iMovie ended up becoming the experts and teaching others who needed help. Not only did the kids feel great about teaching others, but we all learned from each other.

We need to teach more than we know because, if we don’t, we might never reach some subjects. If I waited until I was completely comfortable teaching iMovie I might have not taught it. Sometimes you have to take a risk and work at it on the way. It is ok not to know everything because if you work together as a team you will find that you can accomplish just about anything.


Barseghian, T. (2011). Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/02/05/three-trends-that-define-the-future-of-teaching-and-learning/

Cooper, B. (2014). Why You Should Teach What You Know, Even If You Aren’t an Expert. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from http://lifehacker.com/teach-others-what-you-know-to-make-connections-and-lear-1639560273

Daggett, D. (2010). Preparing Students For Their Technological Future. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from http://www.leadered.com/pdf/Preparing Students for Tech Future white paper.pdf

Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, Calif.: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Trierweiler, Hudson, H. (2015). Do Your Students Know More About Technology Than You Do? | Scholastic.com. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/do-your-students-know-more-about-technology-you-do

6 thoughts on “Week 8 Robotics

  1. It’s interesting to see the difference between student perceptions on tech usage and their teachers. It shows the divide between teachers who may have limited tech experience and students who grew up with it. It’s good that you value their opinions and knowledge. It sounds like it made for a successful iMovie project. I can relate to your comments about handling 30-35 students in a class. My classes are the same size which makes it impossible to work with each student. We need to rely on students working together. It creates an atmosphere of cooperation. It also allows students to get advice from someone who speaks their language. I always tell my kids they should work together, especially when there is confusion. Listening to a student explain things is like getting a second opinion. When I listen to their conversations, it help me understand their thought processes better and helps me discover areas I need to readdress.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for mentioning that many teachers do not use technology correctly. As a certified promethean trainer I teach tech PD classes and workshops and I am always blown away by the lack of tech use. Teacher in my district have access to great technology but they don’t use it. Technology is a tool why not use it? It breaks my heart to see thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment sitting on shelves collecting dust. A lot of it has to do with their mindset. I know students would be more than happy to show them how to use it. I think it goes back to what your wrote “successful people start before they feel ready”.

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  3. I was a first year teacher last year and I knew nothing about teaching kindergarten. I was a student teacher in sixth grade the year before and spent exactly one day in a kindergarten classroom. I was very fortunate that I had four other kindergarten teachers that were willing to mentor me. There is a lot to be said about just jumping in and giving it a try. I also have a mentor through the State Wide Mentoring program who taught technology. I can’t help but think how much easier it would be if everyone had a technology mentor available to them. I also agree that it is frustrating to see teachers not using technology, especially when I know that there are teachers in other buildings who would love to have that same technology.


  4. Don’t even get me started about teachers not using technology. I have friends who are also teachers mention that they have iPads in storage because they just don’t know what to do with them. I’ve had teachers tell me they couldn’t live without their SMARTboard when all they do with it is use it as a glorified projection screen. I understand that technology is intimidating and it often doesn’t work when we want it too (our best laid plans). I get that districts buy devices and just expect teachers to use them in class. Teachers need to network in their schools (and outside of their schools) and have discussion about how and what they are using in class for technology. Teachers need to be open to share what they are doing in class, so that teachers can learn from one another. It takes work, but it is possible. We need to stop teaching in a vacuum; it doesn’t help teachers or students. (I’ll get off my soapbox now)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I struggled with how I was going to answer this week’s question about being able to teach more than you know. I like how you said to think about when we first became teachers and how we did not know everything that we were going to teach. We learned from and collaborated with peers and had mentor teachers.

    I also liked where the article suggested that you give the students a technology survey at the beginning of the year to find what kind and how much technology they use. Something I did not feel that the article clarified very well was “technology” I would like to have seen the survey that students were givne. I wonder if students have a different idea about what qualifies as technology than adults, especially elementary students. Perhaps one of the questions on the survey could ask them what they think technology is.

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