Effective use of technology will determine whether is has a positive or negative effect upon learning. Here are a few tips from a tech professional on how to get rolling.
1. Acquire and pilot new tech in your classroom.
Employing technology in the classroom presents a tactical challenge. Teacher salaries are often too low and school budgets just don’t have room to bring cutting edge tech into classrooms. However with a little bit of initiative, teachers can earn the funding from outside sources. Numerous grants are available to educators for this exact purpose. Also, exciting new opportunities exist in sites like Donors Choose, Kickstarter, and IndieGoGo where you can publish your idea and seek funding online.
Once you’ve implemented new technology, remember to track its impact and share the results with colleagues and your personal learning network (PLN). New technology does no good if it does not directly affect student learning.
2. Put your district’s tech resources to use.
Many school districts have dedicated technology trainers and support staff surprisingly only a phone call away. Put them to work! Bringing technology into your classroom is hard enough. Support makes it easier and validates your efforts with peers and superiors.
3. Use a modern web browser.
Many of the latest web apps use code that cannot run in older browsers. To get the most out of modern apps, use Chome, Safari, or Firefox and make sure to keep it updated to the latest version by enabling automatic updates. Otherwise, you could be missing out on new functionality.
Conversations in technology circles are even starting to recommend that web developers target specific web browsers for increased and specialized functionality. In the future, you mind find sites that only work in one browser. A current example of this is the Chrome Experiments site. Because of this trend, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all the major browsers and maybe even keep them all installed so your setup is current.
Photo courtesy of Apple.