The Tech Ninja Guide
Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” ~ Bill Gates
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In my book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, I describe the many ways in which technology has impacted our traditions, rituals, communication, language, relationships, values, and learning. We have a generation of digital learners who have had very little guidance on how to navigate the web. They also don’t feel the weight of their responsibility because every act on the web has the potential to go viral and definitely has an audience. Below are some tips to help you integrate technology effectively. Feel free to download the slides and share them with your staff. Keep scrolling to access the bookmarks.
- Find your dojos online. Connect with educators online. Develop a Professional/Personal/Passionate Learning Network (PLNs).
- Hashtags help you and your students find the most relevant and updated resources in any field and build a PLN. Check out my clickable Edhashtags page to find digital resources with these hashtags- #flipclass, #elearning, #edtechchat, #ipaded, #GAFE, #AR, #GoogleCardboard, #virtualreality, #3Dprinting, #EdtechChat, and #BadgeChatK12.
- Listen to your sensei. Get a foundation in pedagogy and instructional practices that support digital collaboration and literacy. Check out my bookmarks on Digital Blooms, Peeragogy, SAMR, and Connectivism.
- Know your ninja tools! Edshelf and Graphite are search engines for free educational web tools and apps.
- Discover which tools and apps your students already have access to or know how to use by surveying them. Here’s my student Google Survey template to get you started.
- Be familiar with Andrew Stillman and his scripts for teachers, such as Doctopus, Goobric, and Formmule, Cloudlab.newvisions.org/add-ons. Find more Google tools here!
- A tech ninja has probably shared a free template for you to edit at Docs.google.com/templates.
- Introduce your students to extensions to do mind-blowing things! I recommend getting the Extensify extension which helps you manage all your extensions. Check out Tackk.com/googledocsquickcreate and Bit.ly/50chrome for tons of teacher recommended extensions.
- Ninjas train other ninjas! Send your student ninjas on learning missions with technology.
- You will need ninja learning community (a VLE/LMS). Try Edmodo, Google Classroom, Schoology, Moodle, Edublogs, Haiku Learning, Wikis, or Google Apps for Education.
- Get students to document and crowdsource their learning with social bookmarking, annotation and curation tools, like Diigo, Genius, Pearltrees, Storify, Pinterest, Livebinders, and Educlipper. Find more resources here!
- Strive for simplicity. Integrate a technology component with projects you already give your students. Get students to use digital tools to create interactive mindmaps, multimedia presentations, digital stories, comics, games, blogs, scavenger hunts, videos,podcasts, digital fliers, posters, infographics, and more!
- Pass on the ninja legacy and teach citizenship. Get students to sign Acceptable or Responsible Use Policies or Codes of Conducts.
- Commonsensemedia.org has many resources for parents and teachers for all grade levels.
- Get parents on board with these parent resources.
- Ninjas always think ahead. Check the technology again right before the lesson. Have students learn the tools, then train others. Manage with calendars, activity logs, and the cup system.
- Ninjas don’t freak out. When the technology doesn’t work try the following: shut it down, unplug it, reboot it, Google the problem, or ask students for help.
- Have a backup plan that doesn’t involve technology. Checkout this post, 10 ways I Utilize a Computer with No Internet Connection in the Classroom.