In the age of digital everything, technology can be incredibly overwhelming. There is a growing trend of educational companies all looking for you to buy into their products or services to enhance your classroom experience. This abundance of information often gets pushed down the to-do list and a lot of educators find it easier just to not use it at all, or continue simply using what they know.
Here are three easy ways to integrate technology into your classroom right now.
1. Start with what you have, where you are. Most software programs have advanced functionalities that we rarely ever see. If your school requires you to use a certain program for record keeping, take a few minutes to browse around the site’s user information to find new functionalities. You may end up saving yourself tons of time by just taking a few minutes to learn something new now. (It was a magical day when I learned my old grading program could also make seating charts…) If you have the flexibility to choose your own program, great! Try using google to search user reviews of the program to get advice from other educators who have used the site and hopefully can give you good input on new ways to use it.
2. Commit to trying one new thing. So, you were trained to teach, not program computers, I get it. The benefits of technology are just so endless for streamlining the work you do in the classroom. Commit to trying one new idea every unit and don’t just use technology for presenting information. There are so many interesting websites out there for brain mapping, maybe that can be the step you try to digitize first. Try https://bubbl.us, https://coggle.it/, or https://www.text2mindmap.com/ to get started.
3. Talk to a tech-savvy colleague. This seems so simple, yet it is so underutilized. Find a tech-savvy colleague and go ask questions about what they are doing in their classrooms. The one thing I love about teachers is how willing and excited they are to share what they know. Find a few new ideas, browse them on your prep, and maybe use one of them to commit to your “one thing” you will try.
Hopefully this post has inspired you to try something new in your classroom on this techy Tuesday. If you are a tech-savvy educator and you’d like to share your own great ideas, please apply to guest post here.