Happy 1st birthday cloudoflearning.com! I wanted to take an opportunity and reflect on my ongoing journey to encourage ingenuity in the mobile classroom. I can highlight this journey by summarizing ten successful tips for using technology in the classroom.
The recommended tips have been discovered after teaching for more than four years at Tecumseh Vista Academy. I have adopted the key points through hard work, passion, and collaborating with others.
- Technology is only a classroom tool – Don’t get caught up using the tool, as interesting as it may be. The tool should only be used in service of the lesson. As instructional time is precious, learn to develop lessons that fit the tool instead.
- Technology cannot replace great teaching – No matter how interesting the technology, effective teaching instruction is always required to manage the classroom and deliver content to a range of learners and learning styles.
- Set your learning goals – When trying to learn more about technology, set goals that are realistic. Don’t put yourself in a position where you are getting overwhelmed and frustrated because of a lack of experience using technology.
- Technology diversity is a digital moment – Welcome to the BYOD classroom! With so many hardware manufacturers and operating systems, encourage learners to discover answers to problems.
- Have fun and learn from others – It is always amazing how much we can learn from our students! As digital natives, students have experiences and ways of using technology that adults may not have thought of.
- Supplement existing resources using BYOD. Not having enough technology to go around is a real problem in our cash strapped educational system. Try using personal smart phone devices to supplement a lack of available technology. Many apps are available to supplement desktop software.
- Cheap is good, free is best – The price of technology keeps falling. Avoid making expensive purchases when free apps and cloud based software are available. Smart phones have considerably gone down in price, so with free WIFI, anything is possible.
- Extend learning outside the classroom – Try adopting social media tools (e.g. Twitter) that our students are familiar using. Allow students to continue conversations outside the classroom using cloud based tools. This helps to increase the quality of ideas because student are taking ownership of their learning.
- If technology fails, be patient – Take a deep breath and don’t give up! There is a multitude of resources on the internet and helpful colleagues who can steer you in the right direction.
- Share your passion and knowledge – Don’t be shy, and advocate great ideas with others. This can be accomplished by informal talk sessions, staff meetings, and professional learning communities.