Believe it or not, there are some classrooms in America that still do not have any form of technology in them.
Just because your school is operating in the early 20th century doesn’t mean you have to. Here are some tips to advance your teaching practices and be the kind of teacher your students need you to be.
If you have a smartphone or have your own technology at home here are things you can do to advance your teaching practices.
1) Develop your own Professional Learning Network (PLN)
Put your oxygen mask on first…
Create your social media presence online. It is here that you can begin to see there is a whole world of progressive educators who are advancing in their educational practices and are willing to share their knowledge.
Twitter: Use hashtags(#) to find online groups that are aligned with your subject area. Begin to follow people and organizations that you want to connect with. Cybrary Man offers many resources for the use of technology in the education. Here is a link to Cybrary Man’s website on Educational Hashtags. You can start here.
2) Survey of your students
You may be amazed to learn that your students may have access to technology outside of the school. Students may have their own smartphones, tablets/Ipads, desktops, Playstations and Xboxes with internet access in their homes. Survey your students to get a sense what type of technology access they have outside of school. I am sure that will be an interesting discussion.
3) Publish your own wiki
If your school does not offer you to have your own webpage, create your own. The easiest and quickest way to create a webpage is to create a wiki. A wiki is a quick way to publish on the internet. I can be a collaborative tool where others can contribute and edit. You can also set up a class wiki. But for now, just grant access to yourself and get familiar with it.
Once you establish your wiki populate it with free educational resources that can assist your students outside of school. Post links to the resources and inform your students and parents the resources are available. Check out some of the resources by subject are in my Edu Resources link.
You can also post assignments on your wiki. Often parents are not aware of the homework and assignments their children are assigned and due. If you post this information online and inform the parents during your school’s open house or parent teacher conference, you are now holding parents responsible for keeping up with their children’s work. They can no longer say they didn’t know what is going on in their child’s class.
Set a schedule of when you will post. If you really want to be creative you can create a Voki. Create an avatar, record your assignment and post it to your site. That way all your students and parents can listen to the assignment. It’s cool and it’s free.
4) Flip your class
When you survey your students technology access outside of school and see that many have the capability and access to the internet, why not flip your class. A flipped class is where videos, lectures or any other content is accessed by students outside of school leaving class time to further the discussion or clarify any misunderstandings. Give your students the ability to further their education outside of the school day.
If student engagement is an issue and you are not sure your students will access information outside of school, provide some type of incentive if they do. Entice them, engage them. Again, let your parents know this resources is available.
Start with these few tools, then grow from there.
Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time. ~Rabindranath Tagore