When Carly awoke to the delightful beep of her first ever ClassCover booking she accepted it quicker than the Fastest Finger on Millionaire Hot Seat. She eagerly jumped out of bed, got dressed and scooted across town to start her first day as a relief teacher.
When Carly arrived at the school, the bubble of relief teacher euphoria was quickly burst when she realised absolutely nothing was left out for her apart from a scribbled note instructing her to teach the students about the location, size, area and population of Africa (ACHASSK087, if you’re wondering).
Carly looked at her watch: 8:20am, c-r-a-p.
In a state of panic, she sourced an engaging YouTube video and downloaded a $3.99 teacher-created digital stencil (note: this is not good value) from a large American website and raced to the beloved photocopier.
Once students were settled she did not waste any time before presenting the YouTube video to the class. They happily recorded notes before firing up their tablets in order to conduct their own research to complete the worksheet. This doesn’t sound so bad, right? Wrong.
First of all, the students were not directed to use specific, reputable government or global organisation websites. This resulted in almost every child in the class recording different answers, including those for the area of Africa (which you think would be quite straight forward but almost every website had something different). One student, bless him, used facts found on a ‘mummy blog’ and another perused a website that had not been updated since 2003!
The next problem came when the students realised the data presented online, on the worksheet and in the YouTube video were all completely different to one another. You see, just like the world of Wiki, absolutely anybody can contribute to YouTube and teacher-created resource websites, so you generally do not know whether or not the information is factual. In this case, it wasn’t even close.
Unfortunately, this exact scenario is something Australian publishers, such as Lauren O’Brien from Teachers 4 Teachers Publications, see and hear about all too often.
“Educators and students currently have access to an overabundance of cheap digital resources and websites that have seemingly not been edited or fact checked by professionals. I can’t speak for all publishers, but T4T ensures each fact published in our resources has been edited and profusely fact checked by at least three different sources of official information.”
So I guess we must get down to the moral of this story: you aren’t expected to be an expert on every topic of the curriculum, but you are expected to teach it. The most cost efficient and time saving investment you can make is the purchase of quality resources created by reputable Australian publishers. Also, familiarise yourself with an array of government and industry-specific websites that you know are regularly updated, edited and only present factual information.
Teachers 4 Teachers Publications is currently offering free shipping on every order over $35. Why not grab yourself an Australian Curriculum aligned, 80-page Geography Now book for $19.95!
Simply enter promo code: CLASSCOVER at the checkout before the 24th of April 2017 to claim!