One thing I have heard over and over when working with teachers is, “Do I have to change what I am doing now that I have technology?” The simple answer simply no. Integrating classroom technology should not be something separate that you are doing in the classroom. Technology should be a vehicle to help achieve an existing goal. It doesn’t replace the teacher. Instead, it should be used to further instruction, differentiate, and remediate.
My advice… don’t let technology in the classroom intimidate you. Honestly, it will make your life easier.
1. Bring Your PowerPoint Presentations to Life
A great example of resistance to technology is teachers not wanting to get rid of PowerPoints they have used for years. They already learned PowerPoint, and it’s comfortable. But I have a great solution that leverages their existing presentations while integrating more collaborative learning technologies. Rather than throwing out the PowerPoint lesson,, I work with teachers to import them into SMART Notebook. Once the presentation is in SMART Notebook, teachers still have the ability to edit, but they can also add interaction by adding LAB activities or other Lesson Activity Toolkit templates.
The result? That once “boring” lesson instantly becomes interactive and engaging.
2. Flip Your Classroom
Teachers can also take those PowerPoint lessons, share them electronically with students prior to class, and then “flip” their classroom. Giving students information prior to class, allows class time to be spent applying that information in practical, collaborative ways.
3. Use Multimedia
Teachers also can use a recording tool, such as SMART Recorder, and turn the presentation into a video. Experts agree that “Multimedia can stimulate more than one sense at a time, and in doing so, may be more attention-getting and attention-holding,” especially for today’s 21st-century learners.
No matter what approach you take, the hard work put into making that old-school PowerPoint is not lost. Instead, it’s been revamped into a new and more compelling format.
In closing, my advice for those looking to integrate technology is to first look at what you are teaching. Incorporating new technologies may not always be the solution, but once you know what/how you are teaching, you can pick one thing that you’re willing to adjust on a daily basis.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to change everything that first day. Take it slow, master it and then try something new. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help or collaborate with those who are the tech experts. The more you use technology, the more comfortable you will become and honestly the less overwhelming it will all seem.
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