One important thing to keep in mind while integrating technology in the classroom is teacher’s training. Teacher training is crucial for successful tech integration in the classroom.
Without professional development that can give teachers the full practical knowledge on the use of technology, you will not see technology being successfully integrated in the classrooms for better learning.
Teachers need professional training along with the introduction of new technologies in the classroom. Professional training will enable them to acquire various information related to the tech being integrated in the classroom and its usage, post which they would be able to use the technology with confidence for teaching students.
So if you are a school admin or decision maker and your teachers are struggling with the new technology or unhappy with its tech integration then here are some tips to help you out.
Rethink on Teachers' Time Allocation
Giving more time for training session is not just enough. Time must be allocated strategically. Teachers often face problems when it comes to manage time for professional development programs. It is vital to plan time for teachers within the school hour to help teachers in learning without bothering about time management.
Build a Tech Team
Technology becomes stress for the educators when they are not familiar with it. Building a tech team that is available 24*7 for the teachers is a crucial move. However, tech team must also be capable of working through various content areas as well as different grade levels.
Generate more Opportunities for Teachers to Learn from one Another
With substitute teachers of different subjects, teachers can watch each other teaching the same lessons one or two times, providing feedback to each other. However, the current education system has not been setup for such type of learning process, but by creatively using such techniques, we can really help out teachers.
Organize Effective Professional Development Program
Giving too much or too little time in professional development for teachers is one of the biggest mistakes. Educators that struggle with technology will feel frustrated if give too much time for PD programs. On the other hand, if you provide less time for the PD then they may feel less informed about the latest technology. You must ask your tech team to develop effective professional development program. PD programs should be organized after taking consideration from teachers, means asking them what tech-related area they would like to talk about.
Make the Tech Relevant to Teachers
Usually teachers feel that they are pushed to use tech in their teaching, mainly those who struggle to use technology. They may use tech just because school admin has asked them to use it. Therefore, it is very much crucial to make teachers understand the relevance of using technology for education. There is a huge difference between simply using tech for teaching and successfully implementing in the lessons. Helping teachers to understand the importance of tech in education should also be the part of tech PD training.
Continuous Motivation and Encouragement
Best tech PD program will not work if teachers are not genuinely motivated towards using tech. So, motivating teachers for tech in education should also be the part of tech PD. Moreover, do not just think that just organizing best PD program teachers will be automatically motivated. Sometimes, it happen that even the availability of best resources and proper training do not encourage teachers. Meet them personally and listen to them and try to find out what exactly they dislike or what is stopping them. Encourage them and also celebrate their success.
Do you have any other tip for assisting teachers in tech integration? Please share your words in the comment box.