The teaching field is expanding as technology grows, and what it means to become a teacher may be changing as well.
If you are about to enter the educational field and want to teach, then it can be important to understand how technology might impact your lessons and the way you communicate with your students, their parents, and your peers.
As you prepare for your new career, there are a few educational technology tips you can carry with you to navigate this field in the modern world.
10 Educational Technology Tips for New Teachers.
Read (and watch the 10 videos) The New Teacher Mega Guide. for brilliant guides for new and trainee teachers.
1. Carry a Power Bank.
When you use tools such as smartphones and tablets as a part of your everyday lesson plans, their batteries can drain quickly.
This can be especially true when you use certain educational apps that tend to eat up battery life.
However, you can prepare yourself by carrying a power bank.
While most electronics can charge with a wall outlet, having a backup charging option can help ensure you always have the power you require for your hand-held electronics.
You may want to invest in a power bank that charges quickly and has the ability to charge a variety of devices.
While some are inexpensive, these cheaper options may not hold their charge long or could be slow to charge your phone or tablet.
If you plan to take your technology on field trips or other locations where a wall outlet might not be available, consider asking your school’s tech staff if they have any recommendations.
2. Review App Options Often.
While not all of these choices may be useful for the way you teach, consider taking the time to review new offerings at least once a week.
Give them a trial run, read what others have said, and gauge how their features might fit in with your lesson plans.
Because there are so many options available, you may be unsure about which ones to choose when you first begin to browse.
However, you can cut the choices down by asking your peers for advice.
You can ask what they like about certain apps and how they utilise them in the classroom. This may help you pick and choose apps more efficiently, especially when you are new to this type of classroom tech.
If you want to make your life as a teacher much easier, check out Google Classroom, it has setting assignments and tracking students work so simple and efficient.
3. Let the Technology Suit the Students’ Age.
In a world where many preschoolers know how to operate their parents’ smartphones, it can be easy to assume that elementary schooled children are tech-savvy and will have no trouble learning from classroom technology.
However, this may not be the case, especially if you are teaching in a rural or impoverished area, where access to laptops, tablets, and smartphones could be limited.
You may want to test the waters by introducing some simple concepts to younger students, such as how to add, open and delete an app or how to open a search engine.
If your students have varying levels of technological understanding, consider allowing the more experienced children to help those who are new to certain concepts.
Not only can this help the students get to know one another better, but those who need help may also respond more favourably to peer assistance, as the new information may seem less threatening when presented this way.
4. Learn How To Fight Digital Cheating.
If you plan to teach older students in a curriculum where essays may be required, then being aware of online cheat sites can help you keep plagiarism at bay.
From sites that offer papers written by previous students to those that offer a fresh paper for cash, there are many avenues and opportunities for young people to turn in work that is not their own.
Review the most popular sites and let your students know you are aware of them, as this can help curb their impulse to cut corners.
Implementing a zero-tolerance policy for cheating may also be useful in this area.
At the start of the year, let your students know that you will not accept any excuses if you find evidence of cheating and that they will receive a zero for any assignment that is revealed to not be their own work.
Ask your line manager (head of faculty) for support in this area and send letters home to parents so they understand your policy as well.
5. Use Tech To Gather Feedback.
Technology can benefit you as well as your students, especially when you are new to teaching.
Consider setting up a blog or use a feedback app students and parents can access so you can understand what you are doing right and in which areas you need to improve.
This type of open communication can teach you how to handle criticism and how to respond. As a new teacher, you are likely to make mistakes and communicating with parents and students online may help you correct them.
If you decide to use technology to give parents the opportunity to offer feedback, it can be important to remember that each may view your approach to teaching differently.
This means that you may receive contradictory feedback about a certain aspect of your teaching, such as how you approach discipline in the classroom.
Ultimately, however, feedback is a tool and not something to rely solely on when it comes to building your educational ideals and goals.
6. Learn About Peer Forums.
As a new teacher, you can likely benefit from what your peers have to teach you.
Most schools have teacher forums that discuss a variety of educational issues, and it can be useful to access these and begin making connections with your fellow teachers.
Experiment with asking questions, giving opinions, and offering suggestions to create and nurture your forum presence.
Creating these professional relationships may give you somewhere to turn when you need advice about a lesson plan or how to introduce a certain concept to your students.
Remember to practice forum etiquette before you engage in conversation.
Read the rules first, understand why they are enforced by the moderators, and be polite, even if you disagree with someone.
Your reputation can have a significant influence on how your peers view you, so practice professionalism each time you log on.
7. Attend Online Conferences.
Before the development of global communication via the internet, teachers had to spend significant amounts of time and money to attend teaching conferences.
While these events often had a positive impact, they were not simple for everyone to access.
However, today’s technology can allow you to attend these conferences without leaving the comfort of your home.
An online teacher gathering can give you the opportunity to meet with educators all over the world.
Learn new teaching concepts, how to handle common classroom behavioural issues, and share your experiences as a new teacher with those who are starting out as well.
This type of event can enhance your teaching experience and make connections on a global scale.
8. Develop a Personal Brand Online.
As a new teacher, developing and growing a personal brand can be important to your future.
Unlike a blog or other website, your personal brand communicates your passions, ideals, and educational goals to your peers or potential employers.
Building this brand does not have to be time consuming or difficult, but it is important that you remain consistent with your presence across different platforms.
If you want to build a personal professional brand online, consider using sites like LinkedIn, where you can make connections with your peers.
While some professionals use social media to boost their brand, this can be tricky, as your personal and professional life may begin to merge.
9. Beware Social Media Weaponisation.
Older students, especially those in high school, are usually quite tech-savvy and may try to use social media, video recordings, and photos against you as retaliation against classroom discipline.
For example, if you sent a student to the principal/head’s office because he or she disrupted the class, that young person may gossip about you on social media or use digital editing to create unflattering photos of you to share with friends.
While this type of situation can be frustrating and even humiliating, it can be important that you handle it correctly.
Notify your principal so he or she can contact the student’s parents and resist the urge to respond directly to any photos or comments online, as this may only fuel the fire and get the type of response the student was hoping for.
10. Change Your Approach Each Semester.
Because there are so many options when it comes to using classroom technology, your approach need never become stale.
As you plan for a new year, semester (or term in the UK), browse the web to discover what new types of technology have emerged and consider how you might use them for the upcoming school year.
Keeping your processes fresh can help engage your students and keep them interested in the material year after year.
Entering the teaching field can be both rewarding and challenging, especially when you consider all the different types of technology available to educators today.
Understanding their pros and cons and how they can enrich your students’ lives may set a positive course for your career.
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