Skills teachers need for working with technology and people

Teachers in Adult Community Education (ACE) aka LearnLocal, are often delivering language and literacy programs to people with not much prior education. 

What do you think are the most important skills for teachers working in the LearnLocal sector, or who are teaching adults in general? 

(Please add your thoughts via the comment section below.)

There are articles online suggesting that teachers these days need a huge range of skills with technology, on top of their already enormous and well-documented matrix of educational abilities

I have been trying to build up a list that makes sense for teachers in LearnLocal organisations. The more I think about it, there’s a lot of complexity. It’s not easy either, to say whether some skills are fundamental & others more advanced. Should social media and web applications go in the fundamental list these days? 


  • Basic operations & interface
       (turn on machine, open applications, work keyboard-mouse-touch-windows etc)
  • Word processing
  • Project screen from one device to another
  • Search and navigate the web
  • Manage files & folders
       (across multiple file locations inc usb, LAN & cloud)
  • Find resources & learning activities on the web
       (and adapt for your learners)
  • Build a presentation
  • Work / play with a range of devices
       (including photocopier, scanner, camera, iPad or tablet, smart phone, television, data projector, audio recorder, laptop / desktop computer, )
    Call for help when you need it 
  •    (eg IT department)

More advanced
  • Create learning activities that integrate technologies
       (make these comply with certificate accreditation etc, and also be engaging, relevant & challenging)
  • Manage student interaction in face-to-face learning activities
       (activities that involve technologies)
  • Create, edit and publish multimedia: photos, video, audio
  • Use social media and web applications
  • Manage student interaction in online settings
  • Work with applications (install & upgrade etc)
  • Work with learning management system (LMS)
  • Build applications

Other people’s lists: 

In his article “10 Technology Skills Every Educator Should Have”, David Andrade puts many of the skills I’ve listed into one category: “productivity apps”. (Discovery Education, March 2013). 

  1. Internet Search and Research
  2. Productivity Apps – Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentation Tools, Note taking and organization apps
  3. Self learning of tech and where to go for help
  4. Finding Free Resources and Sources of Funding for Technology
  5. Social Media
  6. Digital Citizenship – Internet/Email/Social Media etiquette 
  7. Security and Safety 
  8. Hardware basics and troubleshooting
  9. Backup data 
  10. Finding apps and software
  11. Copyright and Citing Sources

Bernie Poole at has an interesting set (2012). Bernie is not thinking about the nitti gritti detail of using technology, this list is more about the bigger picture

  1. Share and model the use of current Internet tools
  2. Participate in professional networks
  3. Assist students as they build their learning networks
  4. Provide sufficient learning opportunities for students to become digitally literate
  5. Inspire every child to be quality digital global citizens.

    1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
    2. Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments
    3. Model digital age work and learning
    4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
    5. Engage in professional growth and leadership

    Jeff Dunn at edudemic has a top-ten list which places the “Personal Learning Network (PLN)” at number 1. (From March 2013). This list seems to assume that you have all the other technical skills we were talking about before. 

    1) Build Your PLN (Personal Learning Network)
    2) Establish Real Relationships
    3) Understand Where Technology Fits In Education
    4) Know How To Find Useful Resources
    5) Manage Your Online Reputation
    6) Know How To Correctly Blog
    7) Slow Down
    8) Make Social Media Work For You
    9) Don’t Be Afraid Of Failing
    10) Know When To Disconnect

    What do you think are the most important skills for teachers working in the LearnLocal sector, or who are teaching adults in general? 

    (Please add your thoughts via the comment section below.)

    Credits: Photo by World Bank (creative commons at flickr, cc-by-nc-nd).

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