Sunday, April 22, 2018

Integrating Tech Really Does Pay Off

Trying new things is scary, especially in technology. And with all the new tools that come out every year it can be
downright daunting. Where to begin? It is overwhelming when you already have a full plate just keeping up with
day to day responsibilities.

As a Tech coordinator in my school, I try to share out cool and engaging resources as I come across them.
I research tools so I can see how they play out in the classroom and then recommend them to teachers who might
like to try them. I think it’s important to keep the teacher in mind when I try new things.

Of course, my true guinea pigs are my students. If I like something, I will try it in class first, incorporating it into a
lesson. My classes will give me feedback on the new tool so I can judge if it’s lesson-worthy.

Over the years I have refined my go-to tools and use them regularly--the others I use for specific projects as they
fit. I will say as a caveat -- I do not use technology for the sake of it -- and do not recommend it for that reason
either. It must serve a purpose to furthering the learning process and it must make the teacher’s job easier.

With that said, I also think it’s important for lessons to be looked at and refreshed from time to time. After 17
years, I readily admit that even I get bored with some lessons. I often survey students afterward to see what
worked and what didn’t. I adjust the lesson delivery or abandon it altogether. I find something new to make
the topic more interesting.

So with all that’s available, how do you know what’s right for you?

Reach out! Talk to your edtech person (if you have one), talk to your colleagues, get on social media!! There
is a plethora of resources online. There is one thing that I know and yet am always surprised by and that’s the
generosity of teachers. People are using and creating curriculum resources every day. Why reinvent the wheel?
Over the years I have found some tried and true sites that offer fantastic ideas. There are also innovative
leaders in education who are on social media and sharing their stuff all the time (blogs, twitter, Facebook).
Check my links on the sidebar and at the end of this article for some of these people.

To avoid the “try it all and use nothing” syndrome -- PICK 1 THING. Pick one thing to try in a lesson and
use it until you’re comfortable with it. Once it becomes part of your teaching toolbox, try something else.
But, give it a chance. Try it with your kids and reflect on its effectiveness. Soon your arsenal will grow
and become refined. If you have trouble, get help first. If after you’ve tried it and it doesn’t work or
infuse something into your lessons--move on.

Trying new things is scary, but sometimes the payoff is how the student remembered the information
because of the way it’s presented or how they were engaged in it.

Last night I ran into a former student. This was a kid who I worried about. He didn’t always get his
work done--but when he did, it was inspired. He told me how well he was doing, an A student now.
He made a point of saying how well I had prepared him. He had even shown his teacher some
things he had learned with me. (I beamed inside). Sometimes you don’t get the affirmation you want
at the time, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t made an impact where it counts.

Take a look at your lessons. Find one that has some dust on it. Blow the dust off and infuse some
new life into it. Your students might actually thank you.

Some of my favorite Teacher Tweeters
Pinterest is a great resource for whatever you’re looking for - personal or professional
Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) - free and paid lesson plans


  1. Quoting you, "It must serve a purpose to furthering the learning process..." YES. Just completed a multiple standards based project using Google Sites, including a few other embedded features. Suddenly, students are independently, critically thinking in ways I could never quite "teach" or explain about the sites they view and read. Something magical happens when tech is applied meaningfully. Definitely going to pull out some old, dusty lessons and give them some new breath. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for the insight! I completely agree that technology is a priority as is changing things up, as you said. Students today are and will continue to be thrown new tech on a regular basis, and truly, they can handle it! They welcome it even. So even though it’s another thing to add my plate, a teacher, I think it’s one of the most important things to add.

  3. I know teachers are busy enough without more things piled on, but yes, we have to keep up with the current tools as well. This is a new generation we are teaching and have to keep our tools fresh. Good Luck!

  4. I will prefer this blog because it has much more informative stuff.

  5. It consistently communicates with the client design consultancy/agency to ensure effective workflow.
    top ny agency to build websites

  6. Thanks for sharing
    Village Talkies a top-quality professional corporate video production company in Bangalore and also best explainer video company in Bangalore & animation video makers in Bangalore, Chennai, India & Maryland, Baltimore, USA provides Corporate & Brand films, Promotional, Marketing videos & Training videos, Product demo videos, Employee videos, Product video explainers, eLearning videos, 2d Animation, 3d Animation, Motion Graphics, Whiteboard Explainer videos Client Testimonial Videos, Video Presentation and more for all start-ups, industries, and corporate companies. From scripting to corporate video production services, explainer & 3d, 2d animation video production , our solutions are customized to your budget, timeline, and to meet the company goals and objectives.
    As a best video production company in Bangalore, we produce quality and creative videos to our clients.