Edtech Basics for New Teachers
Many new teachers fresh out of college and other pathways to teaching possess new ideas, but they have to prepare for any challenge in the classroom, especially regarding using technology. Edtech has greatly expanded what a classroom can accomplish, so new teachers have to acclimate to these technologies as quickly as possible. Here are some basic edtech options that teachers need to know when they first step into their own classrooms.
Locating New Ideas for the Classroom
One of the best resources of where to find ideas to integrate into any classroom would be TeachersPayTeachers. Many teachers use this site to share their ideas with other teachers for the sake of building a stable support system across the internet. It opens gateways to new ideas for teachers of all experience levels. Shared ideas include décor for the classroom, organizational tools, and standards-aligned activities that can be located with a simple search.
To-do lists do not quite cut it when it comes to managing all of the tasks that need to be completed when preparing and managing a classroom. For iOS users, 30/30 is a great app to help with managing those many tasks. It can mix personal and work items in a color-coded mode to differentiate types of tasks. For Android users, Tassky functions in much the same way.
Dealing with Interactive Whiteboards
Many classrooms come equipped with hardware technology, too, like interactive whiteboards and learning how to use one can be rather difficult without some training. There are several tools available to become familiar with this type of technology and fast. Two examples are Flockdraw and Cosketch. Both of these tools allow for interaction using whiteboard software on any computer. It promotes collaboration, which is another skill that new teachers need to perfect as soon as possible.
A new type of tech that has become rather popular in the last few years is e-portfolios. Students learn through to and how to maintain these portfolios with tools related to Google Sites, Wikispaces, and WordPress classroom edition. They learn how to work on smaller assignments that build to a culminating project alongside learning how to collaborate with other students instead of just submitting assignments to teachers for approval or feedback. A new teacher should familiarize him or herself with these options as soon as possible to begin planning their classrooms around an e-portfolio early on. E-portfolios take a lot of planning and effort on the teacher’s part, so the sooner this process begins, the sooner it can be perfected and improved upon before it is rolled out to students.
New teachers can also take advantage of e-portfolios in another way. An e-portfolio provides a great solution to making lesson plans and units, too. Everything can be organized in a neat and efficient manner, too. The main benefit to using e-portfolios for lesson plans and units is how accessible they can be elsewhere. The days of backing everything up onto a USB thumb drive can end by using e-portfolios in this way. The essential key to not using USB thumb drives is they can be lost or broken much easier than a cloud storage option.
So many tools and apps exist in edtech nowadays that it can be difficult to figure out where to start learning what to use. Exploring these tools can be intimidating, too. Starting off by using these tools as early on in a career as possible will lead to learning how to incorporate other technology over the years, too. Therefore, new teachers need to work on preparing themselves for the evasion technology has made into education quickly to be ahead of the game.