You’ve already embraced the idea of using technology in the classroom. And hopefully your school uses an online learning solution like Blackboard Learn or Blackboard Collaborate to connect with students anytime, anywhere. After all, the data suggests today’s students are adopting technology at dizzying speeds. Here are three things to help you make the most of tech in the classroom inspired by some top education technology bloggers.
#1: According to the 21st Century Principal, educators need to be savvy about going beyond test scores as a measurement of successful tech implementation. “Test scores provide valuable information but they are not the only measure of effectiveness. School leaders who always want to know, ‘Will it increase test scores?’ aren’t really interested in successful technology infusion and tech implementation anyway.” Using technology builds life-skills that set students up for long-term success.
#2: Give students the time they need to play with the technology. Teachers like Jennifer LaGarde, better known as Library Girl on her blog, offer students unrestricted time to visit their school library and experiment with computers and other new tech tools in a supervised after-school setting. With an adult on hand to answer questions, students have a perfect combination of unsupervised/supervised “play” time.
#3: Make parents a part of the process. The Connected Principals blog lays it out perfectly: “Instead of a parent asking their child, ‘What did you learn today?’ with the child responding with the standard, ‘Nothing,’ the correspondence can change significantly. A parent should now be able to say, ‘I read in your classroom blog that you learned about ________, can you tell me more about what that looked like?’” With connected parents, students are held accountable for ongoing learning.
Just like any journey, taking these first steps can be tricky. Fortunately, teachers looking to go the distance with technology can serve their students best by following tips like these and checking out some of the blogs we mention above.