Today my students asked about Fake News and how they weren’t taught about that in any subject within our Dutch curriculum. True, we have Computer Science as an optional subject ages 16-18. True, Curriculum.nu is reformulating the Dutch curriculum secondary general.
As a teacher of English, I cannot wait for that, I need to cater to my students’ needs right now. I understand from them they do not connect our teaching of Rhetoric, our Persuasive Essay Exams, the PEE structure, their final Research Paper nor any of the creative assignments to Digital Literacy. So, I look around on the Internet a little bit. How about digital literacy in the different international higher secondary general curricula? Also, what is our curriculum of Computer Science? So I set out on my individual learning path, I do some research, and I share my research in order to innovate English lessons.
My first step was to learn coding. I looked for Coding workshops for free and I found one. when I got there, I was told I could not participate as it was for children. I told them I was a small child, and I had every behavioural trait of one, so I was allowed in. There I met this boy, looking at me with considerable compassion of how sad it was to see an adult struggling with things that were so obvious. This boy would later reveal himself as a student of mine in my 3 grade Bilingual Track. I told him I needed help as a teacher. I found several more students with a gift or a talent, or a special interest in computers, the Internet, and coding, and I asked many, many, many questions. They all helped, and are still helping, me out. One taught me how to work with Word Press. This student, aged 17, told me he was not going to wait for school to teach him these skills. I answered him nor was I. We both smiled, and that smile I keep as my guiding principle. It was a wicked smile, and we were wicked.
So now I research everything, and I give evidence of my clumsy path, hoping it will help other teachers, by showing them resources and tricks I learn along the way. LOF (funding for educational innovation by individual teachers) funded my research. Thanks LOF! This means I can spend 3 hours a week just doing research in my fulltime job as a teacher of English in the Netherlands.