To become a great tech teacher you need to know the basics. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you sharp.
Websites are powerful Websites are becoming more common in the classroom. Many school districts make it mandatory for teachers to have and use them regularly. This is not to make your life harder and add more work, it is actually quite the opposite. Websites can make your life easier in many ways.
Websites are your new filling cabinets. You can store documents, videos, and web-links all in one easy to access location. That little computer has more information in it than your school library, your filing cabinet, and your closest combined. Because you can access these anywhere you will never be stranded again.
Communication with parents and students has never been easier. You can type up news or even show videos of what is going on in class much easier than before. Because of these advances in technology every teacher should be working on their own website.
Videos enhance lessons There are millions of videos out there on the internet. There are videos to support any topic you can dream of. There are videos that will open your mind to ideas you would never have thought up on your own. There are also videos that can brighten a gloom situation in moments. When these videos are shown the engagement in a classroom skyrockets and the silence can be well received by a teacher.
Technology is NOT a babysitter Some teacher hate to hear this but you can’t use technology to babysit. What I mean is that you can’t just plop a student in the lab send them to a site and consider that a good use of technology. Sure there are times when this is a well needed break for a teacher but if this is the only way you use technology you need a tune up. Students learn better when directed. They will do better when guided through the learning process with the help of a teacher rather than just mindlessly surfing the web or playing on a program.
A teacher takes students to a computer lab to learn PowerPoint. She tells the students to pull up a PowerPoint and explore. The students do OK exploring but get bored pretty quick.
Another teacher takes her students to the computer lab to learn PowerPoint. She gives them a list of vocabulary words and tells them they have to define one word on each slide. The students have to find a picture that helps support the definition of their vocabulary word, and if they have extra time they can add an animation that supports the definition of the word as well.
In the first the students learn basics until their level of attention wears off.
In the second example Students are given a list of expectations and direction that will guide them. In my experience the students in the first example are bored and checked out within 10 minutes where the students in the second example are asking for more time to get their work done.
Experiment Technology evolves so quickly and new things are coming up all the time. Find what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to try something new and if it works you can use it again. If it doesn’t pull the plug, move on and use it as an example for the students to do the same in their life. Some teachers are so afraid to try something that it passes them by and later or when they see something they could have been using they regret holding off so long. Just try it you might find something worth while.