Teaching with technology can surely be engaging and full of fun. But being new to the approach you might make various mistakes that might impact the overall classroom experience.
Here is a set of mistakes that you must avoid while integrating technology in the classroom.
Using Technology with Least Basic Understanding:
If as a teacher you tell your students to go for a certain application, it is necessary that you - the teacher, has the basic knowledge about that application, so that they can provide guidance to the students.
Usually students struggle if they do not understand the basics of any application. Hence, teachers need to make students understand the basic ins and outs of an application. Therefore, the understanding of a teacher, about a certain application going to be used for learning must be more than their students.
Using Applications with Inappropriate Content:
Particularly if you are teaching younger students, ensure as a teacher that the content is appropriate for them . There are pros and cons to everything hence you can also find inappropriate content in various forms. Few of the issues are violent or sexual content, content related to cast discrimination, etc. Naturally, younger the learner, more the concern. Visit and analyze thoroughly before you recommend a website, resource or an application for your students.
Using technology that does not support lesson plan/curriculum
Do not use technology just for the sake of using tech in the classroom. If the integration of the tech in curriculum isn’t facilitating learning, then why are you using it?
Not planning for students, who have no, or limited, access of technology:
If you have given students an assignment that involves use of web technology for completing assignments, then you need to ensure that each student has an access of technology. If the assignment is going to be completed in school, and there is access of tools for everyone then there would not be any issue. But if assignment needs to be completed outside the classroom, then it is teacher’s responsibility to ensure whether her students have the access of technology or not. For those who have partial or no access of the technology, teachers need to plan for them.
Using applications that are highly distracting
Ensure that the application you are using/you will use in the classroom is not distracting. For instance – one of the criticisms about using YouTube is that it shows a lot of different content before you start a video which might be distracting for the students. The same thing happens with a lot of social networking websites that display advertising contents. Therefore, as a responsible teacher, you need to ensure that the application you are using is not at all distracting for your students.
Using a lot of Applications that Require Creating User Accounts
Teachers must avoid this, since it is a bit difficult for students to recall user ids and password of a lot of accounts. In fact, there are websites that do not give right to the students to create their personal account. Hence, ensure you either go for a website that can be used without account or find ways for students to remember their passwords easily (Yes! there are ways and tools for this too).
Afraid of Making Mistakes in front of Students
If you are afraid of making mistakes in front of students, Don't be! You must help your students understand that mistakes are the part of life. Anyone can make it, from students to teachers. But what is appropriate is everyone must recognize their mistake and find solution for it. Discuss this, and expect them to do this when they have a problem.
Hopefully, the above mentioned list is helpful for you and assists you to avoid mistakes in the future while integrating technology in the classroom. And if you are new to this concept (teaching with technology), then I hope this list will help you to make a good start.
What common mistake would you add to this?