How to Keep Up-To-Date with Education Technology Tools
Teachers are asked to do so much more than they can fit into the school day. The to-do list of tasks can make it hard to step back and take a look at some of the exciting new technology tools for teachers and students. Evaluating tools and making a plan for bringing them into your instruction can be a daunting task. Let’s take a step back and examine some best practices for keeping up-to-date with education technology tools.
Locating the right technology tool takes time and effort. This is especially true if you don’t know what you don’t know. Setting aside time to explore new tech tools can be a challenge for busy teachers. One of my favorite quick resources for exploring technology tools is Twitter. On Twitter educators share bite-sized messages of only 140 characters. This means that you can quickly scroll through tweets to see what other teachers are excited about. To get started with Twitter sign up for a free account and search for other teachers or popular hashtags like #edtech to find people to follow.
Building a Tool Belt
As you start to come across interesting technology tools think quality over quantity. Choose just one or two tools to try out in your classroom each month. If it is something that you like and works well in your classroom add it to your tool belt. Not all technology tools will be a good fit for your teaching style and the needs of your students. Even if you have invested a few weeks in trying it out in your classroom don’t be afraid to toss it aside and move on to something new if it isn’t working.
Finding technology tools for your classroom and trying them out with students are two important steps for getting started. You want to make sure that you are taking time to check in with yourself and decide if the technology tool is meeting the goals of your instruction. Ask yourself questions like, Is this connected to my learning objective? Are students learning better by using this tool?
Keeping up-to-date with technology requires you to jump in and explore new territory. Set aside a few moments at the end of the day to scroll through your Twitter feed, focus on a few tools instead of many, reflect on your student’s progress and what’s working best. Education technology can transform your teaching and learning, dive in – it’s worth it!
About the Author
Monica Burns is an EdTech & curriculum consultant, an author, and a blogger. She speaks frequently at conferences and is a professional development facilitator. She is also recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator. Connect with her at @ClassTechTips on Twitter or visit her website ClassTechTips.com.