Technology has never moved as quickly as it does today. Technology invented today is expected to be obsolete in three years, five tops. Even early adopters aren’t easily keeping up, let alone those who have limited time and resources.
In a survey from edtech company SAM Labs, seventy percent of teachers reported that they don’t feel capable of teaching with the new technology being brought into their classrooms. Eight-two percent of those same teachers believe that students who use that technology will be better prepared for their future careers. They see the value of educational technology, but they don’t know how to help those students make the most of it.
The White House recently committed $200 million to supporting coding and computer science in schools. Most of that, however, is being applied to simply putting the tech in place. It’s important not to overlook the training of teachers, and not only in those specific educational technologies, but in how to have a self-directed learning relationship with technology.
So, what can you do to make sure you’ve got your finger on the pulse of educational technology? Here are some tips from Emerging EdTech:
Think about having a professional presence on social media
Like many public figures, consider creating a social media page with your name, followed by “teacher,” or something of that sort. Use that page for posting professional information. Post newspaper stories and articles about your subject area, share inspiring quotes, talk about your lesson plans, and so on.
Consider starting a blog
If you have a lot to say or a lot of great ideas and activities that you want to share with other educators, starting a blog could be a great way to get your voice out into the public sphere. WordPress and Blogger offer free blogs on their platform, and that’s a good place to start. If you find you have an audience or you need more creative freedom than the free platform offers, consider hosting your blog on one of the many hosting services available.
Take advantage of online conferences
Internet communications technology has enabled people to attend webinars and see speakers at conferences without leaving the comfort of their home or office. This will save your school district (or you) a lot of money when compared with the cost of taking a trip to a live conference venue.
Use a learning management system
A learning management system is a forum-like environment where participants can ask and answer questions, individually or collectively. It offers a variety of assessment tools, and offers a way to locate and organize resources for completing assignments. LMSs are widely used in colleges, and many K-12 schools are also using them, too.
What about you? How do you use technology in your classroom? What are the advantages? What struggles have you or your students had with educational technology? Please share your experiences in the comments.