Thursday, October 1, 2020

8 Ways to Support Teachers Integrate Technology

A collaboration between Good and Kiss Me I'm Polish, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Implementing Effective Technological Change: What a Classroom Teacher needs
1. Many teacher’s discoveries of how to use Web 2.0 tools and new applications occur when they are simply trawling the net for new and innovative teaching strategies. Teachers need more time to discover; discover new Web tools, discover new websites, discover new delivery methods.  One tool or resource by itself is often limiting but when you combine it with another, and sometimes another again, the resulting classroom activity can have a profound effect on learning outcomes 
2. Teachers need opportunities for innovative learning projects to be discussed and planned.  They need feedback from colleagues on what they are doing successfully in the classroom.  They need opportunities to deconstruct a unit; identify weaknesses and develop existing strengths.  Teachers need a chance to brainstorm and evaluate better delivery methods and more efficient use of the available technology. 
3. Teachers need opportunities to share technology learnings. What works in large classes?  What do your students like?  What technology do you have access to?  I have heard about that tool but how do you actually incorporate it into a unit?  What are your favourite tech tools?  Can you teach me how to use that?  How do you find appropriate tools to achieve solid learning outcomes?  How do you go about developing your units of work that are technology rich?
4. Teachers need time with colleagues to workshop practical strategies for classroom activities; How to engage your students.  What size groups achieve the best results? What strategies do you use for organising group work?  What not to do next time? How to get around difficulties.  How do you ensure equality of workload in collaborative learning environments?
5. Teachers need time to assimilate new concepts, like student involvement in unit development.  They need to discuss the notion of students as teachers. What did the students think helped them learn?  What activities did they like?  What activities taught them new skills?  What would they do if they were the teacher?  How might they have set up the assessment tasks?  What Web 2 tools would they suggest to meet the stated outcomes?  Teachers need the chance to have pedagogical discussion with their students.
6. We all need to develop simple effective ways to involve other staff at our schools.  How do we share the load?  How have you got other staff excited about incorporating technology?  How do we continue to support them in this journey?  How do we provide a positive environment to encourage further experimentation with pedagogy?  AND, How do we capture the recalcitrant?
7. We all need to continue to develop resources that introduce effective technology to our staff.  Teachers love technology cheats sheets.  How to use Prezi in the Classroom?  How to use Podcasting to promote social values?  Making History interesting with Digital timelines?  These are often constructed by enthusiastic teachers and then passed around.  Why do we all re-invent the wheel?  A central bank of these in your district or region would make so much more sense.  We all just contribute one each from our own area of expertise.
8. I find that very few new teachers are really aware of the effective use of Web 2.0 tools when they come out of university.  In fact some have hardly even heard the term Web 2.0. Experienced teaching staff need to introduce starting teachers to these ideas to foster greater learning and support.  We need to be insisting that these ideas of collaborative online learning and innovative web based tools be taught at all Universities.  We need to keep blooding the new, young staff member into the online habitat that our students now live.  We should be continually identifying innovative and talented people to ensure that they receive the appropriate in-servicing and support to move forward with enthusiasm and energy.