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By Ryan Devlin • March 10, 2014

5 Tips for teachers who aren’t “tech-wizards”

Students textingIn today’s educational climate, technology is needed to be able to resonate well with your students. There are still so many teachers today that haven’t fully embraced technology in their classroom. But yet, almost all teachers want to be using technology more with their class. Today, we can prove that technology can actually engage students. And - we all know a more engaged student means greater student outcomes.

Even if technology isn’t your thing, or if you think you can’t learn new tricks, here are 5 easy tips we think might help...

 

Tip #1: Start Small

Take small steps to becoming better at using technology in the classroom.  It may be overwhelming when you look at how some of your colleagues utilize technology.  Take it slow.  If you’re just starting out with actually using technology with your students, don’t jump in head first. Do a little at a time, and don’t be afraid to ask other teachers for help or even your students.

 

Tip #2: Find a problem you’re having and try to solve it with technology!

Take a look at the thing that causes you the most agony throughout the day (eg: Task management, organizational skills, grading papers), and figure out how to solve it using technology.  Going paperless and organizing your files in the cloud \can save you the headaches you might be facing when looking for that hardcopy hiding in your desk.  There are so many apps for task management and most computers come preloaded with applications built to help you keep track of the things you have to do each day.  

If you wanted to get started using Chalkup for example, and you didn’t consider yourself “tech savvy” as a teacher, I would still recommend starting slow. Try doing just one thing differently first, such as just adding assignments for your classes. See how it goes!  

 

Tip #3: Make it relevant

Many teachers know that they could be utilizing technology in their class more extensively.  But at first, it may be difficult to see how it can really benefit your life as a teacher.  There is a big difference between using technology to teach and actually integrating it into your lesson plan. Go through the topics in your lesson plan, do some research online and figure out what you can supplement to challenge your students.  See where it may make sense for YOU to integrate technology. Keep things current and relevant, and your students will be more engaged.

 

Tip #4: Go to a Workshop ClassApple learning workshops for teaching teachers

Remember one of the most important part about learning is not being afraid to ask a question when you’re struggling with something.  Luckily the two biggest providers have specialty workshop classes to answer any question that might come to mind.  Both Apple and Microsoft hold specialty classes daily, you can sign up for free on their websites, and leave closer to becoming a show off when you go back to school.

 

These classes are total judgement free zones, the employees (Genius’s in Apple’s case) are specifically trained to work with people of all different levels of technology expertise.  You can take broad overview courses or application specific courses.

 

Tip #5: It may be time to stop calling it “technology”

When does technology stop being technology. Smartphones, tablets, and computers aren’t “technology” to your students, it’s their way of life, it’s invisible to them.  When they hear the term “technology” they’re thinking more along the lines of robots and lasers not a regular device they use to manage their personal life.  When it becomes your normal way of life it’s hard to refer to it as “technology”.

 

The beauty of Chalkup is that we strive to give you the best tools to drive engagement with your students no matter how tech savvy you are.  We truly believe that technology can help you connect better with your students. For someone’s whose entire life revolves around teaching you should know best of all that anyone can learn something new.

 

tl; dr, -To stay relevant you have to adapt to the constantly changing technology trends otherwise you'll end up like this guy.