If we’ve learned nothing over the course of our field experiences, it’s that no matter how well planned a lesson is or how airtight an activity might seem, there will always be some things that do not go according to plan. Students might take an extra ten minutes to finish an activity, all of your markers could run out of ink, student drama could interrupt the class, and so on. Teachers must learn to be able to work around these random events in order to assure their students steady progression.
This is perhaps even more so the case for teachers who have adapted newer technology into their teaching methods. The inclusion of these tools introduces a million new things that could go wrong – your laptop’s charger could get damaged, the wifi might go down, or your projector bulb could burn out, for example. For these teachers, flexibility becomes a key component of classroom planning in order to not only assure a smooth and informative lesson, but to avoid complete derailment of the class.
Tech Savvy Teachers Need to be efficient. Before technology, students were required to take notes by hand, spend hours in the library researching an assignment, and experience difficulty with collaborating. Now, today’s students can type away expediently on the computer, find cutting-edge research online, and collaborate using google docs. Teachers can use technology to post power points and notes online for their students to see and reference for assignments. Technology can be used for teachers to communicate with students to help with homework via Skyping. Emailing can create an easy exchange of information between teachers, faculty, staff, and students. Teachers can find lesson plans online, through sites such as: “TeachersPayTeachers,” “Pinterest,” and “Teacher Vision.” Thus, technology provides information readily at one’s fingertips which can help make finding information more convenient and teaching more efficient.
We are at a point in time where technology surrounds our everyday lives, and especially our students’ lives. With that being said, it is important as a teacher to be up to speed with the newest technology so that we can stay up to date with our kiddos in the classroom. Times are changing, and technology is being used more and more in the classroom, and students seem to already know how to use it. Because of this, as a teacher teaching these students, we must realize that this is how people learn these days. It is also an important tool for students of diverse learning. Using technology could be the only way they get their points across, learn, or even communicate. We must be aware of this, and be able to help each and every student in our classrooms.
When we think about students, we are all hopeful that they will do great in everything they do, however, we all know that there will be mistakes made along the way to their success. When we think of teachers, we would all like to believe that they hold all the answers, but just like everyone else they are human and will need to ask for help once and a while. Technology in the classroom is no exception. This is something new that is becoming more widely used but the problem is, there is always new technology coming out and it can be hard to keep up with it when there is still all the other regular tasks that must be completed in the classroom. This is why it is so important for teachers to be accepting of the trial and error that will come with exploring new technology, but we must learn from these failures in order to find success; trying a new app just to find that it has nothing to do with the lesson that you prepared or clicking the wrong button while preparing for presentation or finding a new feature that makes the information you are presenting more interesting for the audience. For a tech savvy teacher to be successful in the classroom they must be willing to fail and accept those failures as a way of learning how to do something right.
As a fish who struggles with short-term memory loss, Dory has encountered many obstacles in her life. Yet, deeply ingrained in her psyche is the mantra, “Just Keep Swimming.” Dory’s lighthearted mantra reminds us to persevere and “dig in” in the face of a challenge. For teachers of the 21st century, Dory’s mantra rings especially true. Technology continues to challenge the ways we connect with, assess, and teach our students. Additionally, the rapid advancement of technology leads to new inventions seemingly every day. So, how can we ever keep up? The answer is, you guessed it: just keep LEARNING!
To be the best teachers possible, especially tech-savvy teachers, we must be great students as well. Rather than getting frustrated when a first grader knows how to use a new device better than we do, let’s take the opportunity to learn from the student. We must remain persistent on the path of acquiring knowledge that we can use to help our students grow. This may include attending additional professional developments, studying how other teachers use technology in their classroom, or simply using more technology in your own home. It won’t be easy, but it will certainly be worth it.
It is now on us to harness the power of technology to form and teach our students as best we can. To accomplish this mighty task, let us heed the advice of this adorable, forgetful little fish and “just keep learning!”
“Back in my day, we didn’t have any of these fancy gadgets.”
Okay, so I’ve never actually heard a teacher complaining like this. But with the speed that technology is improving at, I am bound to be thinking this as I start my teaching career… Of course, the goal I have is to be as “tech savvy” as I can be, even as technology continues to evolve.
All these “fancy gadgets” as I lovingly refer to them as are going to be a source of power and weakness for all that use them. They open children to new worlds and create opportunities for creative expression… but what happens when the whole lesson is based around a tech that suddenly, unexplainably fails? Well, according to my brother – the world doesn’t exist without Wi-Fi and his laptop. So what does that say for kids that are born today? Or in 5 years? How much will they rely on technology to learn, and what will they do if it fails?
My hope going forward in a world surrounded by technology is that we won’t let it swallow up the traditional ways of learning. I know that there are some crazy kids out there that learn better writing things out than typing them up and they deserve just as much a chance as the kids that type up all their notes during class.
The meme I created was centered around the idea that tech savvy teachers need to be adjustable and be able to meet the students where they are at in terms of technology. In my opinion if we are to use technology to the fullest potential in our classroom we have to be aware of where our students are at, as each student has a different level of technological understanding. Part of being adaptable means knowing where you are starting in relation to using technology in your classroom. Some of our students will have grown up using technology since they were 2 and some have no access to technology except maybe in the classroom if they are lucky. By taking this into account, we can create activities using technology that allow all students to engage in the activity. I also think this leads into the most important trait of a tech savvy teachers which is being adaptable. I think it is most important to be adaptable because we have people relying on us so we need to be able to think on our feet and have a back up plan incase technology doesn’t work or something goes wrong in our plan. Another interesting aspect I wanted to come across in my meme is how much technology has changed over time and yet we as tech savvy teachers always find a way to keep up with current technology and help teach our students how to use technology as well.
Sleek screens, winding wires and brilliant buttons. The classroom of tomorrow exists today, and educators are now tasked with transitioning into this new world. For some, this shift to a more digital classroom is long over due. For others everything that they have ever known has been altered in a blink of an eye, they feel like they are light years behind their colleagues and that their mind is about to burst because how is any of this possible? To the latter I say, take a breath and be open-minded.
I too, fear that I will be unable to use and understand these infinite number of programs and modes of technology effectively. But this fear of failure cannot fester, it must be replaced with the optimism, hopefulness, and perseverance that we wish to instill in our students. In order to become a tech savvy teacher, one must be open-minded to learning new skills and encountering new possibilities. Some days the Wifi will not connect, the projector will not turn on, and programs will not load and likely this will all happen within minutes. Technology can be frustrating. It will be our ability to approach each task with an open-mind, that is eager to learn from errors, that will truly make a difference in our lives and the lives of our students.
I look forward to what the future of technology holds and learning about the various programs and devices that will allow me to differentiate my instruction and better support my future students. To accomplish this, and so much more, I must start with an open-mind.
“Control C, control P” was one of the first tricks I learned on the computer. I remember my teacher showing me how to do this and this forever impacted my outlook on technology. Through technology, I was able to design efficient presentations, learn at my own pace, and become informed about Microsoft Office programs. Having access to these tools have been a positive experience for me, so I hope my students would have the opportunity to see these new pieces of technology in action!
I am an advocate for technology in the classroom because these would be the tools our future leaders will be surrounded with. They need to be exposed to this technology, so they know how to use them properly and be successful in the fields they are going into. While I will be continue to be a supporter of the use of technology, I personally believe tech savvy teachers need a back up plan.
There may be times when the video isn’t loading properly, the power is out, or the piece of tech does not cooperate as much as you would hope. These situations are very common especially with new technology. New technology offers great possibilities, but they also can create new problems. For this reason, teachers need to be able to return to the “old school” way of teaching with their lesson plans. They need to have plans a, b, and c, when the link does not work or the power mysteriously goes out.
While students have access to technology, this unnecessary lag time of buffering videos and power outages, can drastically change the atmosphere in the room. The once excited students may lead to boredom and thereby misbehaviors. When teachers plan ahead and think through potential negative situations, they can successfully use the technology given to them.
Throughout my experiences in classrooms, I have noticed that it can be difficult to create a learning environment that is affective for all students’ learning styles. To do this in my own future classroom, I will integrate technology into different lessons. Using technology, such as iPads, allows students to have a visual right in front of them, and also provides for a hands-on learning experience. Including technology in the classroom would also help to assist special education students and make it easier to include them in a general education setting. For these reasons, it is necessary that myself and other teachers be tech savvy.
As technology becomes further prevalent in classrooms across the country–and all over the world– teachers are called to embrace technological practices and make them an active part of the curriculum. Although many students may have more experience with certain aspects of technology than the teachers, the modern classroom embraces an opportunity for students and teachers to work together to learn, grow, and create.
Part of the teacher’s experience with technology requires adaptability. As technology changes, teachers must be able to take their prior knowledge, understand the technology they are using, and be prepared with another plan of action if some aspect of the technology or lesson does not work correctly. Due to the fact that technology has the ability to break, stall, or fail in a multitude of ways, teachers should incorporate alternatives into their lesson plan, and be patient if the technology does not respond immediately.
There is so much potential for technology to be a welcome addition to the classroom and with the right preparation and adaptability, future teachers have a wonderful chance to grow alongside their students.
Being in the midst of a booming digital era, it is only fitting that teachers learn the same skills that their students have been picking up over the few years of their lives. The classrooms that students are learning in today are entirely different from the classrooms these teachers once saw growing up. Technology has completely taken over, and to have any commonalities with their students in the future, teachers must adapt to this new era. Learning skills, from browsing the internet for educational videos to be used in a classroom lesson to relating to students’ interests on the tablets and phones they now possess, will only benefit the teacher further in keeping control of that classroom. Becoming a tech savvy teacher ensures that a deeper student-teacher relationship can be formed, and because of that, students will have a better learning experience.