The 21st century classroom is all the rage! Becoming a teacher today is like becoming a tech guru. For some people, technology is not their forte. I am here to show you a few tips and tricks for teachers who may not be so familiar with the techy world.Technology changes everything in and out of classrooms. We must make sure we are using it as a tool, not a distraction.
Tip 1: Do NOT get frustrated!
Technology can be frustrating. Start with what you know. Are you familiar with Microsoft Word? Transition to Google Docs. Many directions can be found online. YouTube is a perfect tool for tutorials on how to do anything! Take time to sit and understand how things work. There is no rush for you to become a computer technician in a day! Practice makes perfect.
Tip 2: Professional Development (PD)
Districts like to send teachers out for PD to keep them up-to-date with their content. If you do not have any PD near your schools regarding technology, look online! There are so many fabulous ways to learn about tech as well as earn PD hours all from home! SimpleK12 is known for “Professional Development in your Pajamas!” They provide PD for Google Apps in the classroom to Virtual Reality online events (and most of the events are free!). Simply register online and you are good to go!
Tip 3: Create a Social Media Account to Help with Ideas
When I was a first year teacher, I was overwhelmed with classroom management, curriculum, and the stress of getting my professional life together. I took my questionsto social media. Twitter and Instagram are beneficial for teachers to find specific information on their subject area. Hashtags can narrow down the ideas you want to find and lessons can be formed within minutes! Be creative, search around, and you will most likely be successful finding ways to integrate technology in your classroom.
Tip 4: Let Students Teach YOU!
Let’s be honest… kids today most likely know more about tech than any of us. Use their knowledge! Typically, kids are able to figure out technology way easier and faster than most adults. Using the rule, “Ask 3 before me” lets students solve problems on their own. If they still cannot solve the issue, then they come to you for help. Most of the time, they can complete tasks without help at all. So, find the tech lover in your class and make the most of it!
Tip 5: Make A School-Wide Website
Create a website with popular websites students use throughout the school. Whether it is a Google Site or a Weebly, creating a website for all teachers to utilize in their classrooms can be a huge help. Students will get used to being on these websites and can navigate to them quickly when they are organized in one place.
Technology is a huge part of a child’s education. As teachers, it is important to make sure we are giving them the best tools necessary. These tips can help in any classroom, whether it is a computer lab or a general classroom.