Having a hard time trying to get your teachers catch on to a new technology? All you need is one teacher who loves it, and as we all know, teachers talk!
Once upon a time, about 3 months ago, one of my teachers asked me "How do you do that?" referring to me using my dual screen. I put their computer on dual screen settings and I taught my teacher how to use the dual screen. She didn't end up liking it, however, another teacher walked into her room (when she did use it) and wanted to know how to use dual screen. This past week, I had a teacher tell me that 3 other teachers wanted to know how to use dual screen!
Being a tech coach, its sometimes easy to wonder if anyone in your building wants to use more tech! My advice: look for the one or two tech leaders, walk in and talk to them personally, and see what problems they would like to resolve. If you can fix one teacher's issue or make their work load easier with tech, the other teachers will eventually catch on!
Go on, Talk to your teachers! You'll be glad you did!
Looking to Connect with Your Teachers on a More Personal Level?
Calling cards...the old school way of leaving your information, but are they outdated?
I'm a new face in a new school, so who knows how nice I am or how I can work with teachers to integrate technology into their classroom? No one! The first challenge of my school year is to gain trust and give teachers support with little things like hooking up their projectors - small, troubleshooting tech issues that make their jobs a bit easier.
But what could I do to really get them to respond? To engage them in a more personal way? The Teacher Techology Calling Card!
Why a Calling Card?
To give teachers a personal note on feedback, show them I'm seeing their use of technology (even if its just a document camera), building their confidence and giving them suggestions for tech.
How does the Calling Card work?
Meetings...they can be anywhere on the "spectrum" from dud to done, depending on how you structure your meeting, team roles and the efficiency and effectiveness of the time well spent (or maybe not so well spent?).
If you're looking to make your meeting more effective, read on my tech coaches! Here are some great easy-to-use common planning items to make your meeting run well! And did I mention get your agenda finished?
#1 HAVE A DETAILED AGENDA
Detailed as in write detailed outline, not a bunch of details. Here's an example:
Bad agenda item: Time spent at meetings planning common lessons
OK, so what exactly does that mean? We spend too much time planning lessons, we don't need to plan lessons or we need more time planning lessons at meetings?
Good agenda item: Common agreement on the amount of time spent at monthly meetings for planning common lessons
A-ha! Now we can understand that we currently don't have an agreed amount of time spent and we need to have one. Set time limits on each agenda item so you can easily flow through the items, moving to the next one once you have talked about your item. Even better...we can be thinking about the amount of time that we would like to see, because....
#2 SEND OUT YOUR AGENDA AHEAD OF TIME (1 WEEK IS KEY)
BIG PLUS...ALONG WITH A REQUEST!
Request: Bring your thoughts on how long you would like to spend on lesson planning at meetings
Now your audience can come to the meeting prepared (and yes, everyone doesn't, but now they haven't a reason to not be "in the know".
#3 CREATE A CALENDAR NOTIFICATION FOR YOUR MEETING
Send out that calendar invite to all in your group! Now you know who is and isn't coming.
#4 HAVE A COMMON JOB LIST FOR ATTENDEES
Should the leader be the notetaker? Nope! Make sure the leader has one job - to be the leader. His/her train of thought is the most important flow device of your meeting. A good leader needs to stay on track, not derailed by being focused on two jobs at once. Suggested jobs: secretary (notetaker), timer, a secondary notetaker, cloud document manager (to organize your cloud documents). Add jobs as you see fit!
#5 SET COMMON MEETING EXPECTATIONS
Here's a list of Meeting Expectations which members should be held accountable for:
#6 HAVE A MEETING FORMAT SETUP, COPY AND PASTE
I have a common meeting format google document for our specialist meeting as I'm the notetaker at this meeting (I'm also the timer as well!). When I'm ready to take notes, I copy the document and retitle it with the date so I can easily find the document in my google drive for next meeting!
Have more great meeting ideas? Comment below OR Send me your idea through the comment page of our website here!
Connecting technology with teachers is like leading a horse to water....sometimes you need to dangle a carrot to get them in!
Spending time with teachers is a process of good time management, people skills and leadership rolled into one package! Walking down the hallways, teachers will often stop me and ask me to come into their class to assist them with a tech problem. If I can, I come in and fix it. If I can't, I direct them to put in a ticket to our IT guy. If I get "What's a ticket" then the added process of showing them the ticket is added to their request.
Don't get me wrong - I really enjoy working with teachers and teaching teachers. These are the two main reasons I decided to be an Ed Tech. I feel that most of the time I connect with teachers is spent fixing tech issues (for at least the first month of school) then assisting with logins (the second month of school) then finally I get to do what I love: train teachers on implementing technology into their rooms.
Like most of you, I rely on email for messaging and communication. But email distances you personally from your classroom teachers. Talking to my principal the other day, I came up with a fun and easy solution for drop-ins: the old school Thank You & Invitation card!
How does this work? Do a walk-around! Walk around your school (with Thank-You/Invitation in hand) into your teacher's classroom if you see that they are using technology. Then,
As technology in the 21st century advances, it becomes more and more integrated and runs through nearly all aspects of daily life. Nowhere is this more true than in the classroom. Classrooms are continually being updated; from chalkboards to whiteboards and from bulky overhead projectors that required endless amounts of converted pages to display to small projectors conveniently mounted and connected to computers, classrooms have experienced considerable steps forward as far as teaching efficiency is concerned.
Multiple aspects of teaching and learning in a classroom setting are becoming digitalized, and the trend and popularity of classroom blogs and pages is just one example. Putting all material related to a class and students in one convenient spot that is accessible at all hours (online) is an extremely practical way of ensuring that students have access to learning materials, course syllabi, announcements regarding school or class deadlines or important dates, outside or extra material useful to students, other media, etc. This can be an important point for educators, as it is an opportunity for parents also to be able to view all materials relating to their child’s classroom.
With a classroom blog students also have the opportunity to contribute and participate in a myriad of ways. Sharing ideas, external links and resources, and other relevant topics and ideas will encourage students to be more participatory and engaged in their own learning. The technological aspect of it makes it easier than ever for students to feel more involved in their classroom. Not only this, but blogging and encouraging students to be involved in a classroom blog further develops literary skills.
Said online learning specialist Stephen Downs:“Blogging is about, first, reading. But more important, it is about reading what is of interest to you: your culture, your community, your ideas. And it is about engaging with the content and with the authors of what you have read—reflecting, criticizing, questioning, reacting.”
Blogging allows students an opportunity to care about their curriculum, to become involved in their own learning, and to actively participate where otherwise they might have been able to. Creating a classroom blog is a relatively easy process and can be the means of engaging and changing students. The following is a small list of platforms that are used for classroom blogs, though the list is by no means comprehensive.
Downs, Stephen. "Educational Blogging." Educause September/October 2004 (2004). PDF File.
Hedge, Stephanie. "Teaching with Blogs." Inside Higher Ed. 15 Jan. 2013. Web.
"The Ultimate Guide to The Use of Blogs in Teaching." Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. Web.
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Lynn Smargis is a speaker, writer and blogger of classroom technology and how to integrate technology into the classroom. Find out more about Lynn in the About Me page.