Indeed, education in this digital age has transformed traditional learning activities, making them more modern and practical with technology. Nonetheless, this situation is a challenge for elementary school teachers in charge of basic education, where they have to teach the generation of digital natives or Internet and technology networks from birth. To convey digitization from an early age, primary school teachers must have certain skills.
The use of digital technologies cannot be separated from current educational activities. This also influences the attitudes and behavior of the students in everyday life. Teachers need special skills to deal with this fast-paced cultural change, these skills are also referred to as ’21st-century skills.
Some of the skills teachers need to possess in the 21st century are an understanding of the development of science and technology, creativity and innovation, patience and perseverance, and the ability to manage cyberspace. Additionally, there are several other skills that teachers need to have to face education in the digital age, especially elementary school teachers.
7 competencies of primary school teachers in the digital age
Becoming an elementary school teacher in the education of the digital age has its own set of challenges when you start early in introducing technology to students or when you still have basic skills. This basic education can be critical to how students use technology in the future. However, this is not a big problem as long as you have 7 digital-age elementary school teacher skills such as B. the following:
1. Critical thinking
The ability to think critically (critical thinking) and solve problems (problem-solving) is a must for teachers in the digital age. If teachers can think critically and have good problem-solving skills, students will also be able to adapt those skills.
Critical thinking here means being able to think rationally, and having comprehensive thinking skills including the ability to analyze and synthesize problems and solutions, draw conclusions and evaluate. In short, it can think to solve problems and strive to become better.
If you have good critical thinking and problem-solving skills, students will reason, use their thinking to try to solve problems independently, and can analyze problems.
2. Keep up with technological developments
The digital age of the 21st century is an age where everything is based on technology. Currently, technology and science are developing rapidly around the world. The use of gadgets and the internet, especially social media, cannot be separated from our daily lives.
It also has a great impact on the learning activities of teachers and students. Teachers need to take this into account when learning and keep up with technological developments.
Teachers can offer to learn using the Internet. For example, by giving teaching materials, practice questions, homework, or assignments online. Teachers can also direct students to watch tutorial videos on YouTube.
In the classroom, teachers can also use technology. Teachers can use PowerPoint with attractive designs and present using a projector.
3. Discovery learning
The learning method Discovery Learning is a learning method designed to encourage students to discover knowledge on their own or independently. With this learning method, the students are instructed to be able to learn through self-learning or actively and independently.
Students are instructed to use various available sources, either from textbooks or the internet. Students learn to discover a concept of knowledge by exploring and examining the material.
If the teacher uses the discovery learning method of learning, it will also be useful in stimulating students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students are also encouraged to apply lifelong learning.
4. Collaborative and blended learning
Teachers are also expected to be able to conduct Collaborative & Blended Learning. The hallmark of the industrial digital age 4.0 is that it emphasizes a collaborative work culture. The collaborative learning method prepares students to become accustomed to leading a collaborative work culture and stimulates the ability to socialize and communicate.
In addition, there is also blended learning, which brings together online and face-to-face (offline) learning methods. This method is worth trying, especially during this pandemic when schools are still being conducted online from home.
This method is the answer to distance learning. This method takes full advantage of technology, so teachers must always be informed and up to date with technological developments.
5. Optimization of student potential
Teachers are expected to have student leadership and personal development skills to develop students’ potential and talents. Teachers need to understand that each student’s potential is different and needs to be developed. Create and strengthen students’ self-confidence in developing their potential and talents.
Teachers need to be critical of education policy and pay attention to emerging issues. Teachers become advocates for students, helping students who are struggling, whether they are having problems at home, in the neighborhood, or at school.
Teachers need to be able to motivate, be good listeners and encourage students to face their problems. Teachers are also role models for students. In this way, the students will feel open and their learning performance and potential development will also improve.
6. Creating interesting learning media
Elementary school students become more and more willing to learn with interesting learning media. Therefore, primary school teachers in the digital age must have the skills to technically design interesting learning media, such as audiovisual media in the form of learning videos, podcasts, or audiobooks, right through to diagrams or Infogrames. This way, students will be interested in participating in learning activities.
7. Creating game-based learning
The next skill you must have is creating game-based learning. The reason is that inviting students to learn through play, it can eliminate the boredom of learning.
The Victorian Department of Education and Training Australia said learning combined with play activities can stimulate students to think critically about what is required at the next level of education.
The type of game-based learning you choose needs to be related to the learning material and support their thinking skills to understand the material. You can create games that require students to make accurate and quick decisions, solve problems, practice creativity, and collaborate with classmates.
These are the 7 skills elementary school teachers need to have in today’s digital age of education. With these skills, you can use technology to create a more effective and efficient learning environment.