Where do you most often find helpful hints, timesavers, and teaching tips?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
Where do you most often find helpful hints, timesavers, and teaching tips?
from professional organizations, including their journals and conferences.
from Web sites that offer tips for teachers.
from colleagues in my school.
from university courses.
from workshops.

View Results

Teachers nowadays have resources that were not available twenty years ago. Finding tips and hints prior to the advent of the Internet relied on workshops or discussions between other teaching professionals. According to this poll, the majority of today's teachers find these hints, tips and timesavers on websites. While information from colleagues was voted as the second most popular method, it was outvoted three to one.

It makes sense that websites would be such popular resources simply from a standpoint of convenience. There is no need to make any formal arrangements to meet with more seasoned teaching professionals. Finding a time and day that works for the majority of people is a thing of the past. Simply get on the Internet at any time of the day or night and the information is literally at your fingertips.

The amount of information on the Internet outstrips whatever could be made available from colleagues as well. It's like having a room full of advisors just for your benefit. There are websites devoted to specific teaching specialists where their research can be downloaded and read at your leisure. Alternately, sites exist where teachers can post ideas and questions for response from other teachers. Reading these posts can be very beneficial because whatever question or problem a teacher may be having, it's likely someone somewhere is having the same issue. Advice can come from any part of the country or even the world, and often gives a different perspective on the issue.

There are also chat rooms where live, interactive chat can take place. This type of scenario gives instant feedback and a more personalized feel to the anonymous entity of the Internet. Teachers can listen to other professionals and then weigh the ideas for themselves for validity.

Students benefit from this shared knowledge in many ways. Teachers who have found ways to make students more accountable or productive apply these new concepts to their classrooms and increase student learning. Also when teachers are able to find hints and timesavers it frees them up to spend more individualized time with their students.

There will always be a place for colleague interaction, workshops and journals, but the Internet provides a lot of information in one quick stop. Why go anywhere else?