Survival Tips for Teaching with Technology
Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” ~ Bill Gates
Get your copy of Hacking Digital Learning, The 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!
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 safely and meaningfully. With access and a worldwide audience, our learners have the ability to make a profound difference in the world. However, so many choose to bully, spread fake news, or cause other harm to themselves and others. Below are some tips to help you integrate technology effectively. Many of the missions in my new book, Hacking Digital Learning with Missions, are aimed at inspiring students to think critically, focus on questions versus answers, conduct hands-on research, and make a difference in the world by using technology.
- Discover what tools your students currently use. Feel free to use my Google Student Survey as a guide.
- Familiarize yourself with the pedagogy and skills needed, such as RAT, SAMR, TPACK, Digital Blooms, Connectivism, Design Thinking and Peeragogy Check out this post here.
- Choose the right tool for the job! Edshelf and Graphite are tool and app search engines for teachers and parents. They also include reviews by teachers.
- Be a connected educator. Check out my Survival Tips for Building a PLN!
- Hashtags help students and you find the most relevant and updated resources in any field and build a Professional/Passionate Learning Network. Check out my clickable Edhashtags page!
- Pair or group students for projects so they learn the value of teamwork and collaboration. In Learning to Go find handouts for designating roles and permissions.
- 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!
- Let a VLE/LMS do the work for you (Edmodo, Google Classroom, Moodle, Edublogs, Schoology, Nearpod, or Google Apps for Education).
- Discover which tools 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.
- Create a community with digital icebreakers. Find a list of digital icebreakers I’ve created and a presentation!
- Get students to social bookmark and curate with free tools, like Diigo, Pearltrees, Storify, Pinterest, Livebinders, and Educlipper. Find more resources here!
- Check the technology again right before the lesson. Try to check it at least 30 minutes prior to the lesson.
- 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 students learn the tools, then train others.
- Commonsensemedia.org has many resources for parents and teachers for all grade levels!
- Have a backup plan that doesn’t involve technology.
- Get parents on board with these parent resources.