Posted by Christy Williams on July 24th, 2017
Technology is the new way of life, and techies are commanding the future. As a teacher, your position as a techie allows you to stay connected with the current trends and changes while offering your students a technological advantage.
Summer is the perfect opportunity to strengthen your tech skills and learn new ones for inclusion in your classroom this fall. Consider enhancing your technology knowledge by attending conferences, getting hands-on, reading and taking classes.
Conferences provide opportunities for you to learn more about technology and connect with other professionals. Look for a conference hosted by the technology industry or one offered specifically to educators. Attending a conference during the summer has many benefits including the ability to focus and absorb the information rather than rushing back to the daily routine of instruction. This approach gives you a chance to plan how to best implement the learned skills in your classroom. Because tech conferences are held all over the country, you could potentially include attendance as part of your vacation travel plans.
A strong way to learn new skills, particularly in technology, is by getting hands-on. Download new apps on your phone, tablet or computer. Practice using apps that may be good substitutions or enhancements for tasks you already use in your classroom. Things to try include tools for word processing, research, conferencing and collaboration. Many software companies offer free trial-periods or limited-use access.
Research and Read
There are many blogs, product overviews and other reading resources available with a focus on technology. Offered by tech companies, user groups and other educators, these resources provide insight on new technology and trends. Read articles about how other teachers are implementing technology in their classrooms. Check out comments and reviews to learn more about their specific experiences with certain software and tools. Spend some time researching how a particular technology might be useful in the classroom for lesson planning and other tasks.
Find classes that provide instruction on beneficial technologies for your classroom. The classes available range from basic computer functions to mobile device usage. Classes regarding specific apps and computer programming are also available. Community centers and libraries often offer these classes for little to no cost. User groups and some college campuses also provide public access to the courses. Online classes are available through sources like Udemy and Lynda.
YouTube, Social Media and Podcasts
Many experts and companies provide technology centered content via YouTube and other social media and podcast channels. The mobile nature of these resources allows you to learn about technology on the go. You can watch a quick video while waiting at the airport or listen to a training while traveling to a destination without feeling as though learning the technology is overtaking your time off.
Enhancing your tech skills as a teacher does not have to be an invasive, boring part of your summer. A variety of options exist that will allow you to strengthen your tech skills on your own terms. You can attend conferences and take classes. Apps, blogs and social media platforms make the learning process more convenient as you can access the information in a variety of settings. Your exploration of changing and new technologies during the summer provides you with the chance to plan implementations for your fall classroom. This focus on becoming a techie teacher is a benefit for both you and your students.