How to Create Your Own Classroom Edtech Tools
You know you need to get on board with using educational technology in your classroom. But you’re having trouble finding just the right app to meet the needs of your students. Sometimes, it can seem like the implementation of new edtech tools drains the valuable time that it’s supposed to save.
If that’s the case, have you considered creating edtech tools of your own?
You may think you don’t have enough time or expertise, but building edtech for your own students is easier than you think.
Here are some ways to get started.
Learn Relevant Technical Skills
Never tried coding or UX design? Do you think it’s too hard to learn? Think again! You can pick up coding skills for free at sites like Codecademy, or take a tutorial on computer programming at Khan Academy. Share your knowledge with others and take advantage of the expertise of your colleagues, too.
Collaborate With Edtech Companies
These companies are eager to serve the needs of educators, but they are limited in their understanding of tools that teachers would be most likely to use. Many entrepreneurs, although they have ample technical expertise, have not spent enough time in classrooms to have a practical understanding of the day-to-day life of a classroom. For this reason, they constantly seek input and feedback from teachers. Partnerships with edtech companies can provide helpful connections while you build your entrepreneurial and technical skill.
Work With Other Teachers
In 2015, a group of teachers at a charter school called KIPP Bay Area created an app that customized Khan Academy playlists by aligning them with MAP assessments and with the Eureka Math curriculum. Because of their collaboration, these teachers were able to identify a need within their teaching community and pool their expertise to create a solution. Powerful things happen when teachers work together to solve problems.
Pilot a Program
Once you have acquired the skills and the connections and identified a problem in your school or district, it’s time to start a pilot program. Whether it’s an app to facilitate the flipped/blended learning process or a tool to easily aggregate assessment data, get your colleagues on board with testing it in their classrooms. Make sure you track and document the effect of your pilot on student achievement and learning. You may be amazed at what you are able to accomplish.
Teacher-created tech tools are well within your reach, effectively putting you in the driver’s seat of edtech in your own classroom.