Teaching Teachers to Put Tech Tools to Work
21st-century teaching and learning look immensely different from the teaching and learning that took place even ten years ago. If you are an experienced classroom teacher, you may find that sudden changes in technology have become overwhelming in the last couple of years, and you may be struggling to keep up. Even teachers who are fresh out of university may find that technology demands are greater than they were prepared for. Schools and administrators are beginning to address teachers’ needs and have begun implementing programs to assist them in learning how to use tech in the classroom efficiently.
Benefits of Technology in the Classroom
Maybe you’re an old-school teacher wondering why you need to use technology in the classroom when you’ve come this far without it; or maybe you’re a new teacher but still feel uncomfortable using technology. Just know that technology is a precious resource in the classroom, not just for students but also for teachers.
It has been proven that students with disabilities greatly benefit from technology. There are now programs available to these students that were not available before, such as text-to-speech, speech-to-text, talking calculators, and audiobooks. Seeing students achieve in the classroom because of technology proves that this advancement helps students greatly; isn’t that what teaching is all about?
Technology can also help students and teachers become more organized. Students can access resources on one device, which makes it harder to lose work. Additionally, by keeping all work and resources together, students can see their progress. Easier organization is also helping teachers who are now able to keep their lesson and curriculum planning together. Accessing these materials online means that teachers can seamlessly edit them when need be. Specific software is also utilized to mark student work, saving time, and allowing teachers more free time to engage with students.
Teaching Teachers Effective Use of Technology
Different steps are being implemented in school districts that help teachers integrate technology into their own classrooms. Teachers are increasingly being included in the decisions regarding technology in the classroom. Schools are also trying to find the most user-friendly devices so teachers can learn how to use them quickly and efficiently. Allowing teachers input on which programs and devices will be used can make them more comfortable. A comfortable teacher is a more effective teacher.
Additionally, teachers are being given extra training about the technology being used in their classrooms. Professionals are being asked into schools to provide professional development and training on the new technology. These sessions allow teachers to ask any questions that they may have about the new programs. Schools are also offering teachers ongoing access to these professionals to answer any questions that occur throughout the school year.
With the use of technology, teachers can also access resources from around the country. Teachers can connect with other teachers that they may not otherwise have the opportunity of meeting. This connection allows teachers to collaborate and develop new ideas and allows them to understand different perspectives that they can then share with their students. For example, a rural school teacher can connect with a teacher in an urban school and develop new ideas that they may not have considered otherwise.
Modeling the proper use of technology in the classroom also demonstrates to students how to be responsible digital citizens. Seeing their teachers use technology in a professional setting can positively influence and model how they should also use technology responsibly.
Conclusions on Teaching Teachers to Put Tech Tools to Use
Implementing technology is essential when it comes to helping students succeed in the 21st-century classroom. Digital literacy is an essential skill that everyone needs because of the prevalence of technology during everyday situations. The seamless integration of technology in the classroom will ensure that technology becomes second-nature to students. Teachers are receiving training that allows them to use online resources and maximize student learning. If you are a teacher who is currently comfortable using technology, you may even want to try creating your own games and apps to implement in your classroom.