What is the Best Way For Educators to Use Technology to Teach?
Not all educators are fascinated with the shiny things that come with education technology. Most educators feel threatened by technologies that aim to “replace them” and cannot keep up with the training push within the schooling system. According to eSparks Learning, regardless of age or experience level, teachers doubt their ability to use classroom tech successfully. So, if educators’ skills and tech exist in harmony, there needs to be a balance. We need educators’ talents and at the same time need to encourage them to start looking to the future.
The majority of today’s learner population have never known the world without high-speed internet. It acts as a source of info, a place to socialize, and, now, a place to gain a formal education. Educators need to see tech as another way to engage with their learners without replacing their talents and jobs. Here are some ways to ensure a balance between teaching and tech:
Give Educators Some Control
This balance can be achieved by educators controlling the tech that makes its way into the classroom. This ensures that tech compliments current teaching methodologies and does not scare educators into thinking their talents are no longer valid. Classrooms shall not spiral out of control when we enable educators the flexibility to take calculated risks. Not every education technology product will work. With so many dynamics in every classroom, educators need to choose tech that will best suit their teaching needs and learners’ needs.
Tech is not always the Right Answer
Another way tech and teaching balance can be met is not believing that tech is the solution to every problem. With thousands of education technology products on the market, educators are told that a computer can “do it better.” Although tech can help bridge gaps in content, it cannot solve problems around behavioral issues and learner engagement. Teaching is more than just teaching content, and educators’ talents and intuition are sometimes the best answers.
Cater to Learning Styles
Educators have always found it hard to cater to each and every learning style. It is hard to teach at different levels in one lesson. Tech enables non-English speaking learners and those with physical/learning disabilities to achieve comparable results to their peers. Educators need to let their egos take a back seat and let the benefits of personalized learning slide in. By balancing natural ability with tech’s malleability, you get a balance that works in everyone’s best interest.
New versus Old
Novelty is always scary, and with every innovation comes training and manuals. Info Today Inc recently published a great article on the problems that new tech brings and why educators are so untrusting and unhappy to learn. This is due to an imbalance in the “tech versus teaching” problem. Educators should not be introduced to every new shiny gizmo but be given a chance to grow into innovation. Educators need to balance doing what they have done and incorporating the new with the old.
Every classroom is different, and educators need to be in the driving seat when it comes to making a choice and an implementation for the ultimate success of the tech. Educators should not fear that tech will take their place but that they can use it to supplement their weaknesses and elevate their talents.