5 Great Points to Consider When Choosing Classroom Technology
With continuous innovations and technological advancements in modern life, it can be daunting to assess your options for the classroom. Regardless of your budget, you may find numerous options to pick from across the board, all the way from hardware to software. On top of that, you have to make sure that whatever you end up selecting integrates with your overall solution without any major issues. That said, here are five good ideas to follow as you assess and select your technology options.
1. Get Recommendations From Other Staff Members
Who would know better than those in the same boat with you? Your fellow teachers are likely to have similar or the same technical requirements. Their needs and that of their students may reflect your own and your students’ needs as well. Therefore, asking them for their insights, and the solutions they apply is a good idea. They may have already conducted their own research for themselves, which they could share with you. Information Technology experts in your school are also a likely go-to for the same. To stay ahead of the curve, you could even include an addendum for when faculty meets. This addendum can allow faculty to share what’s working for them.
2. What Do Reviews Online Say?
If, for whatever reason, you can not get insights from faculty, you always have the option to check online for reviews by other qualified teachers. The technology solution you are accessing is likely to show feedback that can help you make informed decisions. Focus on any stated pros and cons. Keep in mind that some reviews may not be authentic. For that reason, make sure you consider reviews with a dose of reasonable skepticism.
3. Use the Free Trial
If you find a solution that seems ideal for what you want, then try using a free trial. Many software providers offer their software for free for a while or a version with limited features for free or for a low fee. Alternatively, ask someone who already has the solution you want if you can borrow theirs for some time to try it out. You may even have to consider seeking technology alternatives from non-teachers to assess. Keep an open mind as you search for options.
4. Trial Possible Lessons
Before making a substantial financial commitment, plan a couple of lessons with the technology you wish to incorporate. Check if the solution works with these few lessons, say five of them. Assess if what you have is ultimately effective in each lesson or if something else works better. If you do not see its relevance tangibly and discernibly, then maybe you can not justify the investment, and the gains may not be significant enough to take the technology on.
5. Search for Support Options
If things do not go as planned or you need a little help, do you have adequate support when it comes to this proposed technology? Some software companies offer online support or free forums for subscribers. Though members of staff can be a great help in regards to this, especially if they too have used the solution, it is helpful if the software vendors also offer some reliable means of support for users like you. It can be quite daunting to have to read a whole book to understand how to use new software. Therefore check that software is user-friendly enough to get the hang of within a reasonable time frame.
What do you typically do when you want to take on new technology for teaching and why?