Not all teachers grew up with access to the abundance of technology in education that is available today.
Implementing technology in education can be intimidating, especially if coupled with a lack of support and training. This means that, rather than enhancing the teaching experience with technology, there is the temptation to maintain confidence and control in the classroom by sticking to more traditional methods.
As the second challenge of the virtual classroom, teachers are able to greatly improve their digital teaching efforts with some support and training.
Technology in education to support teachers
Technology offers an incredible advantage for educators to integrate digital learning with traditional methods. There are countless benefits in adopting new technology in education, from ensuring students are on the right page (literally, if on a screen) to the ability to analyse data and easily identify where students may be struggling. There has also been a rapid shift to adopt educational technology due to the sudden move to online classrooms and remote learning.
To fully take advantage of the capabilities of software and tools available, the right training is essential. With only 5% of teachers feeling supported in the training received from schools, there is a clear need to implement structures to enable and empower educators to tap into the benefits of educational technology.
Does a lack of support impact new technology adoption in education?
A major challenge you might face when it comes to adopting new technology in teaching (remote or in the classroom) is the integration of tools, equipment, or software with your style.
Training can be expensive for schools to undertake and it takes up precious limited time, so it’s often not prioritised. While not all schools offer formal or professional training, there is a wealth of free, online resources available to guide educators when it comes to implementing educational technology.
Implementing educational technology effectively
Having regular training opportunities for teachers helps keep staff up to date with new technology. This can be internal, with structured training in place or through staff support groups sharing advice and tips and tricks they’ve picked up on.
If your school doesn’t have technical training in place, there are also external support structures online which can help the smooth integration of tools in your teaching.
Finding online support for educational technology
With so many online resources available to learn more about educational technology, it can feel overwhelming to start looking. A great place to start is following and asking any questions you might have on online community forums.
Quick tips to get the most out of technology in education
Don’t fear if you are not “tech-savvy”, you don’t need to give up on technology before giving it a go. With tools like Mobile Guardian, teachers can manage student devices in classrooms, in remote classrooms, and provide safe online learning environments. Digital resources of this nature can be an incredible game-changer in the way you teach.
1. Find a community of support (and don’t be afraid to ask questions!)
Whether it’s in your school or online, put yourself in a supportive environment where you can ask any questions you might have. Practice what you preach (well, teach) and rather ask and learn than sit and wonder!
For example, Twitter has a fantastic support community if you follow: #EduTwitter and #EdChat. And Reddit is a helpful place to look for resources: r/EdTech, r/Education, and r/Teachers.
2. Prioritise learning how to use new technology
Technology is designed to help, not hinder (no matter how temperamental that school printer might be). Despite any initial difficulty, educational technology exists to better the experience for you and your students. To make sure you’re getting the most out of new technology, set aside a regular time each week to research and learn how to use it.
3. Make the tech work for you
If the technology at your school is not relevant to your teaching method or subject, it’s not helpful to implement it just for the sake of using. Rather integrate the right technology and make it work for you. Research and explore what’s available and don’t be afraid to take risks to try new things. The more you try, the more you’ll learn!
4. Encourage other teachers and staff
Teaching what you know to other staff members can be enormously beneficial to how much you can integrate educational technology in your classroom. If you help another teacher, you might discover something new which you can use in your lessons. And in this, learning by teaching is a double-win because you’re supporting another team member while encouraging your learning!
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Team Mobile Guardian