Dean Robinson is Head of Campus, Regional Head of HPE and Regional Head of Academic Care at Woodthorpe’s Perth campus.
He has been teaching for the past 12 years and has seen many changes in that time – from an outcome-based education system when he first started in the profession, to one that is now based on the Australian curriculum. “This has not only impacted what content is taught, but also how students are assessed and graded,” says Dean
Like a lot of teachers that have been working in the education system for a few years, Dean agrees with the consensus that technology has had the biggest impact on how students are educated. It offers students the opportunity to put together assignments, assessments and other homework in many different formats such as presentations, videos and resources compared to the traditional pen and paper.
“When implemented correctly, it can make a huge difference to students and their learning,” says Dean. “Virtual classrooms have meant that students have access to the best teachers regardless of their location. Of course, if not implemented well, technology can become a distraction to student learning. The challenge for school administrators, teachers and parents is to promote the responsible use of technology so that it benefits student learning.”
With such an array of subjects available he believes that if you can make the subjects as relevant and appealing, that is half the battle of keeping students engaged. “Once you have students working with you (as opposed to against you) you are already half way there,” says Dean. “Having the confidence to ‘lose control’ and step back from a teacher focused class and into a student focused class. This shift in mindset has benefitted me professionally and has also created a better learning environment for my students."
And his advice to a teacher just starting out in their career is simple and concise.
“Be flexible,” he says. “The ability to adapt to student’s needs, changes in education, technology and different school procedures is a very important skill.”