Are you looking to bring education technology into your classroom? Want to leverage the power of tech and unlock a new set of learning outcomes? Who doesn’t?! Many teachers around the globe are heading down this path and I thought it might be time to offer up some useful skills any new edtech teacher should have. They’re basic but powerful things to remember if you’re currently reviewing apps, web tools, hardware, and other tools.
Long story short, the biggest advice I can offer is to take your time. Don’t rush into picking an option because it’s popular right now (e.g. Meerkat or Periscope) or popular (e.g. Edmodo or Evernote). While these tools are pretty useful and quite great in their own right, they may not be perfect for you.
That’s the key.
Find the right tools for you and your classroom. Don’t dive into the world of becoming an edtech teacher just because your students have smartphones or you got a budget approval for an iPad. Use education technology as a learning tool, not as the entire toolkit.
See Also: The 7 characteristics of a digitally competent teacher
After all, you got into teaching not to just be the person handing out iPads and letting others do the teaching.
About The 4 Skills New EdTech Teachers Should Have
Use the following tips and visual as a guide to thinking a bit clearer about how to get started with edtech integration and identify which tools are right for you.
Interestingly enough, the visual at the bottom of this post has sources that include the work I did at Edudemic. So it’s fun to be able to share a visual that I apparently played a part in creating! What a world, eh?
1. Find the right tools.
New tools and technologies come out frequently, and teachers should constantly be on the lookout for new innovations that will encourage students to get involved with their learning. However, it’s important not to use technology just for the sake of using it; instead, teachers should evaluate various tools to determine which will best enhance and support their students’ learning.
2. Introduce one tool at a time.
Instead of completely overhauling your classroom with technology, start small and work your way up. Take a lesson that you know is well-developed already, and include one effective technology that fits well with the lesson and the level of your students. This way, you’ll be able to gradually learn how to best use technology to enhance and deepen your students’ learning.
3. Learn to evaluate tech.
Not all technology is helpful or enhancing in the classroom setting. Evaluate your technology regularly to make sure it’s having the effect you want and that you’re using it appropriately in well-developed lessons and curricula.
4. Use technology to engage students.
Technology can unite students in meaningful collaboration and creativity in a variety of ways. You may choose to use Wikis, Screencasts, or even a class YouTube account to engage your students with the current lesson. Whatever it is, make sure that it sparks your students to consider your lesson in a new, exciting way.