A blog following teacher Aaron Jura as he plans engaging, yet relevant English Language Arts content for High School students in New Orleans, LA.
One thing that teachers (newbies and veterans) always need to talk about is technology in the classroom. New teachers tend to be so tech heavy they literally fall apart (I’ve seen it) when the inevitable projector bulb goes out. Veteran teachers tend to be a bit fearful of change to the classroom environment and at times the element of handing off control to students becomes an issue with technology application during instruction. Overall, this was one of my most successfully taught professional development courses, because it seems that everyone is searching for more opportunities to leverage technology in the classroom.
START SMALL AND BUILD ON SUCCESS
Don’t try to do it all! Try to use one (or maybe two) of the tools – master their use and application to your classroom and then move to another tool. If you try them all at once you will fail, you will feel the failure, and it may turn you off from trying again. Whatever you think, DON’T DO IT! I am especially speaking to the newer teachers out there.
There is more to being successful with technology in the classroom than being able to use the tools yourself. The real magic of technology in the classroom is when it helps students to connect with content, learning, and ultimately increases achievement. This is not something that will come right away, and teachers should prepare to start small and incorporate management tools and technology to make life easier before jumping head first into some of the more “feature filled” applications.
MAKING LIFE EASIER
I use a variety of technology tools to make life easier on me. Many of these tools have an initial investment of time and labor (setting up classes, assigning logins, etc.), but really pay off once you have them operational.
This is just part one of my list – in a week or so I will be posting a comprehensive list of tools to use in the classroom with students to increase engagement and achievement.
Mr. J is a high school teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. J believes in the power of educators to help children and families achieve. Follow his blog for tips and techniques to keep engagement high and student achievement at the forefront.