Thursday, August 16, 2012

10 Ways to Get Started with Technology, Today!

Teachers and administrators want to integrate more technology into their classrooms and schools. This is an overwhelming, but exciting challenge. What is the best, most supportive, and least intrusive way to do this (today)? 

Here are a few ideas:

1. Create a welcome video for students and families to view before the first day of school. If you can, start a blog, and add it there.

2. Take one project that you enjoy, and use a Web 2.0 tool for the creation, collaboration, publication, and presentation. Looking for a project? Check out The Buck Institute for Education website for ideas.

3. Create a Personal Success Plan for yourself and students. If one goal is to gain confidence with technology, put yourself in the learner role, and seek out mentors. Model curiosity. 

4. Join Twitter. It is a bit overwhelming at first, but it is a great professional development tool. You can find me @courtneyhanes.  

5. Explore ways to connect and collaborate for yourself and your students. Here are a few places to start: Tween and Teen Tribune-Online newspapers for students, ePals-A global community, and great resource for connecting with classrooms around the world, Edmodo-A secure social network for teachers and students, and of course, Blogging!

6. Take students on a Virtual Fieldtrip

7. Use Skype and Google Hangout to communicate with students, families, colleagues, and guest speakers. 

8. Check out TED and TED-Ed.

9. Let students bring their own devices into the classroom and use them (Quick BYOD video).

10. Learn as much as you can about changing the way we teach and the way our students learn. Start with Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson's Changing Education Paradigms, and Dr. Yong Zhao.

It doesn't matter where you start, just that you do. We do not want our students to use technology because we told them to. Same rings true for teachers, parents, and administrators. We want to share, collaborate, and evolve together, and because we see the benefits. 

Have ideas to add? Leave a comment and let me know!