What’s your approach to classroom technology?
Are you an all-in, duck-to-water edtech pro?
If so, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve got a classroom full of devices, great apps and programmes supporting your teaching and learning, and the pedagogy to go with it.
(You've probably got some good advice, leave it in the comments!)
Are you a little more conventional?
You might identify with what this teacher said: “All the IT teaching we do with our kids today will be as helpful as the punch cards I did at school in the 70s, the floppy disks I taught with in the 80s, and the iMacs I used in the 90s. The 2000s interactive whiteboards (now gone) were followed by laptops (now replaced). What will become of today’s iPads?”
You're not anti-technology as such, just a little skeptical of how much importance today’s technologies will have in the future. You’d rather focus on other parts of the curriculum. (That’s not a bad thing!)
Are you neither of these two?
You’re an in-betweener. You’d like to be able to put technology to better use in your class, but you don’t always feel like you’re equipped with the proper knowledge, skills or expertise to use it confidently.
Sound like you? You’re not alone.
If you’d like to master edtech, we've got some suggestions to help get you started.
1. Technology in education should be top-down, not bottom-up
Edtech is more than just having the devices – it’s a whole-school conversation.
- Deciding as a school what digital technology use looks like for you
- Defining your vision and pedagogy around technology use
- Making sure there’s leadership to support it.
2. Choose your devices carefully
Tablet? Laptop? Chromebook?
The device you choose should be one that’s most effective for your learners and pedagogy. (And one that will go the distance!)
Here are a few questions to help you choose:
- Will devices primarily be used for Internet access?
- Do you need access to apps?
- Do you want hard drive or cloud-based storage?
- Do you want students to be able to take photos with their devices?
3. Make the most of professional development
There are plenty of educators arguing that technology is a bigger distraction to learning than it is an aid. And without proper focus, perhaps that’s true!
Get some solid PD – it’ll equip you with the skills and knowledge to use technology to support teaching and learning across the curriculum.
4. Create, don’t consume
Technology should be a tool for developing your students’ ideas, and to enhance their work.
Sure, technology makes accessing information (reading, the internet), but devices are the ultimate tools for creating: writing, making games, creating movies, composing songs.
So don’t just consume, create.
Our resources all have a technology component to make literacy learning engaging and effective. See the range!
Got advice for other teachers? Share it below!