There are edtech tools designed to help teachers with every aspect of the school day. Learning management systems provide the space to house and deliver lessons and collect assignments. Online resources grade student work and edit writings. Tools allow teachers to design quizzes and monitor how students use technology in real-time. Communication with families is made more accessible through apps explicitly designed for that purpose. Interactive boards bring new dimensions to presenting information.
Technology isn’t just for teachers, though. Students have access to notebook computers, laptops, and tablets. They practice
math facts, apply writing skills, and engage in scientific simulations through edtech resources.
Guess who handles all of it? The
classroom teacher balances technology while planning lessons, managing student behaviors, and teaching content. To say that it’s a lot of pressure for teachers to become technology experts is an understatement. In reality, it’s a struggle for many teachers.
Moving the lessons forward is challenging when teachers have to deal with tech issues. A teacher may have to trade classes while a different educator fixes the interactive board. Sometimes, sending a student down the hall with a laptop is necessary to have another teacher figure out a problem with an app. And what about the students who forget to charge their devices overnight or leave their tablets at home?
Working through technology issues affects more than just the teacher having the concern. Students must pause until a fix is found. Other teachers have to stop what they’re doing to help. Tech problems can even cause a complete shift in the plans for the day.
How Does Edtech Training Help Teachers?
Providing edtech tools is just the tip of the iceberg.
Technology is more than putting devices in the hands of teachers and students or improving internet access, which makes training the most critical piece. School districts must provide targeted and ongoing professional development for edtech resources to work with the intended purpose.
Without training, teachers feel unsure of the products and devices, leading to ignoring the technology and sticking with familiar processes. That’s why training cannot be skipped. It cannot be one session with the expectation that teachers can go into classrooms and use these resources effectively either.
Professional Development Ideas
With the flood of edtech resources available to teachers and students, there’s never been a better time to focus on professional development. Teachers want training that prepares them for success in the classroom with devices and digital resources.
Training sessions should explain the technical parts of the edtech resource and the goals of using the products. Teachers should leave with an understanding of how to set up and troubleshoot the tools.
Offer specialized workshops for teachers with different degrees of use and knowledge. Asking a teacher who implements the resource to attend a session about setting up the tool is a waste of time. Provide sessions for all levels of learning.
When choosing edtech resources, look for ones that provide on-demand professional development and support. Teachers come up with questions while using the products, so ensure there’s an outlet for answers.
Using and maintaining edtech devices and resources will always be a work in progress, and it should be that way—technology changes. Educators have to change with it. Professional development gives teachers the guidelines to use technology to its full potential, which allows students to do the same.
All set up and ready to go with ExploreLearning? Now is the perfect time to explore the professional development we have to offer!