Tips for Teachers Who Are Frustrated with EdTech
Educational technology can be exasperating.
The edtech arena itself is a vast one. No wonder teachers get annoyed, regardless of how much experience they have with technology or education.
Situations completely out of our control can also send the calmest teachers into a spin. You can’t control the weather, but that huge storm passing through your region can affect connectivity. In turn, connectivity is everything when using edtech. And of course, the storms always seem to be the worst when you need the Internet the most, like during high stakes assessment.
Here are tips for teachers who are frustrated with edtech:
- Walk away. Take a step back from the technology, or switch to another activity. Sometimes ignoring a problem for a few minutes allows your brain the opportunity to figure out the challenge. Just be sure to come back after your timeout.
- Let someone help you. Rather than feel bad that you don’t understand something, reach out. Educators like to help others learn. Try to get the right kind of help by finding that person on your campus who can explain it the way you will understand it. It may be a student who explains it best. Be okay with that.
- Figure out what you’ve gotten right so far. This one action can help you build on prior success and help you clear the present edtech hurdle as well.
- Read the manual. Most edtech products offer friendly instructions with illustrations and screenshots. The problem is that studying the manual is usually best done when you have time, not when you’re in the middle of transitioning 28 hyperactive kids from one activity to another.
- Chat about it. Not everyone likes to read a manual, and edtech companies know that. You can get excellent support and some of the best advice about product use by chatting with company reps on their website.
- Accept technology for what it is. If you’re expecting a one-size-fits all silver bullet, you won’t find it in edtech – or anywhere else, for that matter. Edtech is one of the many tools teachers use on a daily basis in the classroom; it’s not a panacea for everything.
Edtech doesn’t have to be frustrating if you have a few strategies to fall back on when things don’t go right. The benefits of incorporating edtech into your instruction outweigh the drawbacks – if you can overcome your frustration.