Halloween is fast approaching and I’m sure you know what that means…you’re in for a frightful week! Whilst we can’t stop the witches, ghosts or werewolves giving you a fright, there is one thing you don’t need to fear this spooky season and that’s classroom technology!
Integrating technology into a classroom can be a scary concept. Nonetheless, taking the leap into the digital age can transform a classroom, improving students’ attainment and engagement. In this article we’ll treat you to our helpful tricks to settle your nerves, so you can save your frights for Halloween night!
FEAR 1: “I just don’t know where to start”
Living in the 21st century we have access to infinite technological tools; from robots to smart boards, the options are limitless. With such a volume of technology on the market, it’s no wonder that any hesitant educators may be spooked…it’s a lot to digest!
Get recommendations from friends and colleagues.
Whilst you could spend countless hours on search engines searching for the best EdTech tools…or you may not have to search further than the room next door! Colleagues will undoubtedly have their favourite tools. So next time you’re in school why not ask your colleagues what they use! Alternatively, you could try one of the countless virtual teacher communities. With active discussion boards and messaging functions it won’t take long to find the perfect tools for your classroom.
FEAR 2: “I don’t have enough expertise to use it as competently as I would like”
Don’t panic! You aren’t expected to be proficient the first time you take your new tool out of the box. Learning any new skill takes time, training, and patience. You need time to practice and learn this new concept and undertaking adequate training can help!
Why not try a “buddy system”?
Depending on staff numbers, a buddy system with experienced teachers could be helpful in developing technological skills. Working with other teachers, observing how they use different technologies can help build confidence.
Fear 3: “But what if I don’t know the answer?”
Driven by curiosity, children seek to explore new ideas and so ask a lot of questions. When we don’t know the answers, children’s curiosity can make us feel anxious. Whilst you may want to answer all their burning questions; you’re not expected to know every answer!
Embrace the unknown and integrate this into your lessons.
Instead of avoiding subjects due to this fear, why not simply say you don’t know and tell the kids you will investigate this and find out.
FEAR 4: “I Don’t Trust the Device to Work When I Need It”
The bell goes off, students return from their break and you’re about to start your lesson when your technology doesn’t work! Technology glitches can be frustrating, rattling to experience and you may worry that it will ruin your entire lesson. Not only is a technology glitch an opportunity to model how to cope with failure, but it is also a perfect problem-solving lesson!
Reduce technology glitches by preparing for complications.
Before you introduce new technology-based class activities, why not run a troubleshooting session. Use this time to think about any obstacles you may encounter and consider what you can do to prepare. For example, what if my robot doesn’t turn on? Prepare by ensuring the batteries have been charged fully before the lesson.
FEAR 5: “We don’t have access to enough support or resources”
New technologies can be difficult to implement with school’s budgetary limitations and it can feel like a waste of time to learn about tools you can’t purchase. Whilst budgets are tight there are ways to find the funds to purchase the tools you require.
Apply for a funding grant.
There are numerous grants available to help! Check out our helpful guide to available STEM grants and find out how your school can get some extra cash!
FEAR 6: “The technology won’t match out standards”
It is important for all educators that students perform well and meet curriculum standards. You may fear that digital learning interferes with traditional learning methods. Whilst learning with a small blue and yellow robot does appear like a fun game…I can assure you that learning whilst having fun is no less beneficial for students!
Match the technology to the learning.
Once you begin using technology that fear will subside! Students will still meet required standards whilst learning in a more relevant, meaningful environment. Plus, many educational tools, like Marty, are aligned to educational standards, making lesson planning all the easier! Bring learning alive in your classroom today and check out Marty’s curriculum-linked lesson plans!
Now that your no longer terrified of technology you can prepare for a truly frightening Halloween and have a fang-tastic night!