Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Teaching technology to teachers

The first important step for instructing teachers on how to incorporate technology into the classroom is to explain to them why it is necessary. I would first highlight the drastic positive changes that technology has given to our current way of life. I would also highlight how those same technology devices have made learning an even more hands-on and fast paced geared towards multiple intelligences rather than just a couple. Not only would I mention how technology can help students learn better and faster, but that it can actually help teachers teach faster and better. With this win-win  method of learning, I think teachers may be more inclined to listen to specific ways to incorporate technology into their personal classrooms. In addition, I think it is necessary to mention the drawbacks to using technology in a classroom because this is the reason why most teachers do not want it. For instance, what do you do when students start texting during class or slyly listen to their iPod? It’s very crucial that teachers work out policies for the technology use in the classroom before incorporating into the lessons. If a teacher does begin to get creative with technology use, however, most students will not complain of being ‘bored,’ instead, they may be fascinated on just how many other things technology can do than just text or produce music. Plus, keeping students busy using technology for school will occupy too much of their time for them to use it for personal reasons.
The first step for teachers to remember when they first to begin to use technology is that they will need to keep it simple. Don’t hand out assignments or material that you can’t understand or you’ll be faced with questions you can’t answer. At that point no one is learning they’re just getting frustrated. In reality, all instructions, paperwork, and assignments should be relatively simple because too much info and illustrations is always overwhelming. Yet, when one is first learning to incorporate technology, they should focus on the more simple aspects of it-tweet an historical fact to the class, use a podcast to listen in on an educational Q and A, or explore a different country using Google Earth. As instructors, the teachers should already know that true teachers are also life time learners. In this regards, they should always be willing and striving to learn more about technology. As they learn about new tools and software, their lessons and assignments can become more creative and complex. One thing to note is that when I say teachers should use simple technology tools I do not mean that they should just use power points and television for lessons. This is basically an old tool now and, though it is better than just standing in front of the class talking, it still is really only geared to visually or audio learners. Lastly, to give teachers a little push and help to start using technology in their classrooms, I would present different lesson plans designed by other teachers to illustrate just how beneficial and easy technology based lesson plans can be! Then, as a group we could brainstorm what the possibilities are for our particular school classrooms.

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