by Janice Friesn
Technology used in thoughtful positive ways can open up possibilities for teachers and students. It is a part of every day life for students and yet when they come to school they often have to learn without it. As a technology support specialist in eMINTS in Missouri and also working in the Eanes School district in Texas, I have seen many barriers for teachers when using technology. From time to time I will be contributing to the Engage blog posts tips and strategies for keeping up with the potential challenges of using technology on a daily basis. This first article starts with an overview of five tips for dealing with classroom technology. Enhance Your Lessons
Use technology when it adds something of value to your lessons, not just for the sake of using it. If you need ideas use these searchable sites for some great links to use in your lessons.
Read Write Think - www.readwritethink.org
- One example is the student interactive activity “Character Trading Cards.” Students create and print trading cards. Includes many lesson plans.
Thinkfinity - www.thinkfinity.org - Thousands of searchable free lesson plans and links to really useful websites.
Delicious - http://delicious.com
- Search links posted by others to find something you can use.
Always Have a Plan B
Be ready to do something different if the network is down or if all of the laptops seem to be acting up. (Also trust your kids, sometimes it is easy for them to figure out something that seems impossible to you.)
Every school year take on at least one challenge for yourself in using technology. You do not have to teach every subject and every lesson with technology, but you do need to keep stretching yourself and using more. One way is by searching the sites above or YouTube
for ideas. Using http://keepvid.com
allows you to easily download a YouTube video that supports what you are teaching.
Learn from Each Other
Collaboration is the key with using technology. Learn from what other teachers in your school are doing and share with them. Blog and twitter are other way you can learn from and share with other teachers.
• Twitter - Twitter in Education
• Blogs - Blogs written by educators
This may be the most difficult of all. When I feel the stress and anxiety growing I have found that stopping for a while and going back relaxed makes such a difference.
Technology can also give you a new perspective on teaching. I know many teachers who were close to retirement, but technology brought new life into their teaching. Try it! It can be fun!
Janice Friesen is a self-employed teacher. Her business “I’m not a Geek.com” helps people to be successful using technology. Her searchable blog http://helpimnotageek.blogspot.com offers tips for successful use of technology.