Why keeping up with technology is part of your job description as a teacher

Adam Welcome

Adam Welcome has been an elementary school teacher, Principal, Director of Innovation for a large school district in the Bay Area and is also an author and speaker.

Website: mradamwelcome.com

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I get the same question almost every day.

“How do you support teachers with technology in their classroom?”

Technology is an integral part of almost every aspect of our lives.

In fact, 92% of teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to "access content, resources, and materials for their teaching".

That being the case, it’s imperative educators keep up with technology, so they can effectively engage their students in relevant learning strategies.

A big misconception is that teachers need to be the technology “expert” in their classrooms.

Fifteen years ago that was probably true. But not anymore.

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The technology tools you’ll find in classrooms now, along with the way education companies build software programs, allows teachers to take more of a facilitation role.

Just the other day, my daughter’s 2nd grade teacher asked me to come and ‘teach’ coding to the class. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, and also with the full intention to not ‘teach’ anything at all.

Here’s what I mean:

All I did was roster the students in the program, helped print out login cards for them, and then helped them get to the right website.

After that, they were off on their own.

I’m fully aware that many other technologies aren’t as simple and streamlined as this, but I would argue this point with anyone:

With enough foresight, you can integrate technology into your classroom — even if you’re not the “expert” on the technology being used.

In fact, forget about being the expert. Knowing just enough to get started is 100% okay in 2019!

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I get it—

Education has become more complicated than it was twenty or thirty years ago...

But you can’t teach the same year 25 times in a row!

Every year needs to be different, more innovative, and adjusted to replicate what’s happening in our world.

If hospitals were still treating patients like they did in the 1950s, we would be in bad shape.

And if teachers cling to what used to work—

Our kids might end up in bad shape too.

Some simple and key points to remember!

  • Technology increases engagement with students, because this is the language our kids speak.
  • Technology allows a teacher to differentiate in the classroom. Instead of teaching one lesson concept to an entire class, you can facilitate students’ learning and have three to five different lessons going on.
  • Don’t use technology as a babysitter, use it to transform learning in ways you couldn’t without the technology.

Keeping up with technology in your classroom doesn’t have to be a huge hurdle to overcome.

You don’t need weekend classes. And there’s no need for an advanced degree that costs too much money anyway.

Watch a YouTube video. Learn from a colleague. And don’t forget about the most important people to learn from -

Your students!

Give them the opportunity - and the permission - and they will help you with anything you want to do...

Even if you don’t know about it yet. :)

You got this, I believe in you!

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