Eric Kane is a rule-bender of the best possible sort: he creates things he wishes existed and inspires others to do the same. We all know students learn better while having fun. But what happens when teaching is made equally fun for teachers?
In an interview with WizIQ, Eric talks about his career, teaching, the future of education and more.
- You have 20 years of teaching experience. What changes have you seen education go through? How has this journey been for you?
The biggest change I’ve seen is the rapidly changing world of technology and the struggle of both teachers and students to adapt and adopt to those changes. Technology has allowed the learner to pursue independent learning goals. Teachers who recognize and adjust to this new reality will see the most success I believe.
For me, the journey has been exciting. I’ve benefited as much as my students I think! Social media and the growth of my PLN have been very instrumental in my growth as both an educator and materials developer and I’m looking forward to what the future holds. I’m just along for the ride.
- Teaching is considered by many to be a difficult job. Do you agree? What sorts of challenges have you faced and how have you met them?
The most difficult part of the profession to me is balance. Teaching is a juggling act of the responsibilities we have to our institutions, students and own professional development.
Institutions are constantly looking to improve, which means that we must constantly adapt to new curriculums, teachings methods and technology. Students are increasingly coming into our classrooms with skills and experiences far different from what we grew up with. This presents an additional challenge. On top of that, our profession has seen huge changes that requires us to continue to develop as educators.
I like to think that I’ve made an effort to keep up with the changes simply because I enjoy the challenge, but I know that if I stop I’ll fall behind!
- A popular topic these days is lifelong learning. What does this mean to you and your work as an educator?
Like a muscle, our brains need exercise. Reading, discussion, exploring, and researching all help us to exercise our minds and meet new challenges. This goes for both students and teachers, because at the end of the day…we are all students of life.
- The ELF learning website is wonderfully innovative and engaging. How have your approach and ideas helped students learn?
I often say that no one likes to study, but everyone likes to learn! That’s kind of the ELF way and guides all of our materials development.
Our core belief is that learning happens when we are challenged and inspired to figure something out. I think that the students at our school, as well as those around the world who use our videos, songs or other materials, benefit from our commitment to creating seemingly simple yet fundamentally challenging resources. That’s the goal at least!
- How do you envision education 10 years from now? What can teachers do now to prepare for that future?
Keep learning, exploring and experimenting with new techniques and resources, but never forget; we learn when we are challenged and inspired to do so. If we make it our goal to consistently create doable challenges for our students and ourselves, we will realize the type of improvement that we seek both in ourselves and in our students.
Teachers: For a healthy dose of inspiration, catch Eric LIVE in his free one-hour webinar “Great Teacher-What do they do?” on Dec 19, at 6pm UTC.