As the new school year begins in the Philippines and as the rest of world relaxes for summer or school break, here are 6 awesome teacher tips for those who are integrating technology for the first time in the classroom. For the rest, these might remind you of your journey and practices in integrating technology.
1. Start Small and Simple
A simple learning activity with the use of mobile apps is a good start for a tech-integrated class. It can be as simple as taking pictures of plant parts in the school garden or viewing a 3D Earth model. Eliminate complex tasks to avoid complex planning at this moment.
2. Prioritize Learning Goals, Not Apps
A common mistake that teachers commit is to look for applications first rather than articulating their learning goals in class. Designing lessons with tech integration still follows the basics of lesson planning. Learning goals guide the teacher in determining what learning activity should be done. The curriculum should drive the use of technology in class and not the other way around.
3. Prepare a Plan B or C or D or…
Whether you are a newbie or a veteran teacher, there is always value in having a back-up plan, just in case something does not work. Technology is not 100% reliable. The mobile app might crash or it might not be compatible with your device or your students’. The internet connection might be slow. Think of the worst-case scenario and be ready with a good old traditional method to use in class, or even better, prevent worst-case scenarios from occurring by making sure that the devices are compatible with the app, or that the internet infrastructure can handle an entire class using tablets.
4. Update Classroom Management Plan
The presence of tablets in class excites today’s students. While such behaviors are expected, unnecessary behaviors should also be expected. Having a reward system is a big help to keep the students focused on the lesson and behave properly in class.
5. Collaborate with Tech or IT Experts
Most schools have Computer or IT teachers who can assist with the technical aspect of planning. Including them in the planning and in the execution of the lesson adds more eyes and manpower in making sure that the lesson works. This way, you do not have to worry about technical trouble-shooting.
6. Think Positive but Welcome Feedback
Trust yourself and your plan. You have given your A-game in designing the activity. Instead of worrying, motivate yourself by imagining how your students would feel after a successful class with apps or mobile devices. More importantly, open yourself to feedback from your colleagues, students, or supervisors. Give yourself enough time to evaluate your experience and learn from it.
Do you have more tips? Sound it off at the comment section.
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