With technology becoming such an integral part of our lives, it is no surprise that is plays a big part in education too today.
However, while most students are tech-savvy (far beyond their age some might say), the same cannot be said for teachers. It is not the fault of teachers however. While most students were born into the age of technology, the same does not go for all teachers. And because the pressure to integrate technology into the classroom might be great, some teachers might feel extremely overwhelmed by the very prospect.
Here are 7 ways in which you too can become tech-savvy:
1. Don’t Know? Make It Your Business To Know – The first step to acquainting yourself with anything new is to know more about it and inform yourself about it. You can either do this by talking to a colleague who is tech-savvy or by talking to your own students or getting them to teach you about the basics. Achieving technological proficiency might take some time but don’t lose hope or confidence and definitely do not learn from people who are prone to be condescending and impatient. In fact, if you can take a few computer classes, that will help you learn in an environment that is non-judgmental and inviting.
2. Now You Know. What Next? – Once you’ve learnt the basics and are fairly proficient with using technology like the computer or the internet, the next step is to learn how to integrate it into your classroom. The first thing you need to do is figure out what you want to use technology for in your classroom. For example: are you only going to use it for teaching or do you plan to use it for interacting with students and parents, or solely to do away with paper homework and assignments? Once you’ve figured out what exactly you want to use it for, the next step is to watch it in action. If you already have colleagues who use technology (or even acquaintances at other schools) in their classroom, ask them if you can sit in for a class or two so that you can see how technology is being integrated into the classroom. Sometimes in order to get the hang of things, you might have to sit on more than three to four classes, but remind yourself of the eventual pay-off that awaits you and keep persevering.
3. The Tools of The Trade – You have learnt how to use technology, you know how to integrate it into your classroom, now only one more step remains. Setting up the equipment needed to integrate technology into your classroom. You might quite possibly need an internet connection, a computer and a projector. If you will be the first teacher to integrate technology in to the classroom in your school, then you might have to talk to your principal and figure out how to get the instruments that you need. You might even need to talk to other teachers and see if they too would like to begin integrating technology in the classroom.
4. Once You Begin, Keep Going – Once you begin using technology to teach and even evaluate, don’t stop doing so. You might struggle, your equipment might not be easy to work with, but it is imperative that you keep going, because while it is so very easy to fall out of practice, getting back to the swing of things is not easy. Practice makes perfect. It is also okay to ask for help and make sure to involve your students too in the process.
5. Everything Has Pros and Cons – Technology has it good sides and down sides. Once you begin to utilize it, you will realize that there are pros and cons to using it. It is up to you to optimize your usage in such a way that technology becomes a streamlined learning tool that revolutionizes the way you teach.
6. Paper Has Not Been Forgotten – The existence of technology within a classroom does not mean that the days of paper and pens are behind is. It is just one more tool that we utilize to learn. A handwritten essay holds just as much value as a printed one and a hand-made chart is just as helpful as a printed one.
How did you integrate technology into your classroom? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!