...I’m not good with computers or any tech tools. There’s too much out there that it’s overwhelming. I’m too old to learn all of new age stuff. We’re not 1:1 with devices. I don’t have time.
As educators, we are always stretched thin and often don’t feel like we can take on anything new. Technology is ever-changing and this can be both a burden and a blessing at the same time. My time spent with Pike’s DLC has opened my eyes to so much that I can do to make my classroom better. At the end of the day, we want our students to have meaningful learning that will carry them to the next stage in life (whatever that might be). This year and next I am diving in and trying out new tools and experiences for both the students and myself. I’ve already seen many successes and also a few not-so-awesome flops.
Many colleagues have shared their excuses for staying within the comfort of their current classroom and teaching styles/methods. I want to encourage these people to focus on three main points that can help integrate technology into your teaching.
Sign up for an account if you don’t have one. I will admit that I have had a Twitter for years and have never used it outside of the required TEACH Butler summer workshops until about four months ago. I thought it was unnecessary because everything I wanted to see was on Facebook. I had no idea that Twitter is an entire professional community! Start by following some influential educators and then get involved in some Twitter Chats. Education community: @INeLearn, @CanvasLMS, @TED_ED. For math, @alicekeeler, @ddmeyer, and @desmos. If you are interested in more, attend the Mini Best Practice Session on Twitter or ask a Pike DLC member for help.
#2 Adopt one (or maybe two) new tools/practices at a time.
This one is very important. How many times have you been to PD where you were able to learn several new tech tricks, apps, or websites? If you’re like me, I think they all sound cool and write down a few names and URLs. But then I don’t end up doing any of them or even remember what purpose they serve. Until I fully grasp a new concept/tool, I am not going to start another one. I actually have a running list of stuff I want to look at in the future, which brings me to my next point.
Store any websites you want to access later in a Wunderlist. This free website can house everything in lists for you. There’s even a Chrome Extension, so all I have to do is click the Wunderlist icon on my browser and quickly add the webpage I am viewing to a list. Whenever I am on Twitter or around colleagues that share an interesting tool, I add it to my Wunderlist to access later.
Hopefully those three tips can help make technology integration a little less stressful. Don’t forget to reach out to colleagues - we have a wealth of knowledge right under our own roof. For Pike educators that want to take the next plunge, consider joining the DLC for this fall.
Today's tips come to us from Ms. Kaley Trump. Kaley is in her 6th year of teaching at PHS. She received her B.A. in Mathematics and Spanish at DePauw University. She then became a Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellow where she completed her M.A.T. at the University of Indianapolis. Kaley loves learning new tech tools and strives to constantly make her classroom better. When she’s not collaborating with colleagues, you’ll find her with her husband and two daughters. Follow her on Twitter: @mrsketrump