“I’m not very tech savvy” is the response I usually hear from teachers that struggle with technology. Whether it’s attaching a document to an email or creating a PowerPoint, some teachers really have a difficult time navigating the digital world. As schools around the globe begin to embed the use of technology in their learning environments, these teachers can be left feeling frustrated and marginalized by the new tools they are required to use but do not understand.
The school where I teach is currently within its post-BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) implementation age. We started with a small cohort of tech-savvy teachers to pilot a BYOD program with selected classes. Starting small was definitely beneficial, as we were able to troubleshoot issues and best prepare ourselves for the school-wide BYOD rollout. Front loading any work is always helpful in education, especially when developing resources for teachers who struggle with technology.
If you plan on introducing a new technology or are embarking on the mighty task of becoming a wireless BYOD school, here are five tips to help your teachers still struggling with technology.
1. Build a Tech Team
Integrating technology can be very stressful for educators that aren’t familiar with it. Having a support team that’s flexible and available to struggling teachers is crucial for any tech rollout.
2. Scaffold Effective Professional Development (PD)
One big mistake when introducing technology is either too much or too little professional development. Teachers that struggle with technology might feel overwhelmed if you introduce too much too soon.
3. Make Time
While I’m talking about PD, all educators know that extra time for PD is scarce throughout the day. I’ve had amazing administrators that carved out dedicated time for tech PD. Allowing teachers to meet and collaborate with each other is part of building a successful environment to support student learning, especially regarding the use of technology.
4. Make It Relevant!
Some teachers feel technology is being pushed on them, especially those who struggle with it. They might start using technology just for the sake of using it. This has shown to be an ineffective method for both tech-savvy and tech-challenged teachers. There is a big difference between using technology to teach and the successful integration of technology into lesson plans.
Read the entire article by Josh Work on Edutopia at www.edutopia.org/blog/help-teachers-struggling-with-technology-josh-work