How does your district or school approach professional learning for teachers regarding technology? There are numerous approaches to bring teachers up to speed using all the various devices, software and applications available. As a leader, I believe teachers are like students. We have to meet them where they are providing training and encouragement to take small steps to grow in this area. I always encourage those wanting to move forward with hopes they will be role models for others to follow. Those not wanting to use technology are also encouraged. At a minimum, teachers should use the school website to post information about each course they teach. Whether a calendar with assignment due dates, approaching tests or posting assignments and content for students. Students and parents will have access to the information for a variety of reasons. The main reason is the information is there when they are ready for it.
My philosophy is simple. We constantly provide teachers learning opportunities at workshops to learn instructional strategies with the hope they will recognize when to use the strategies at the right time. In other words, teachers learn over the years and have extensive tools in their “strategies tool belt” to use at the appropriate time. The same approach should be used with technology. Teachers need training learning how to use various devices as well as software and applications. At the opportune time, teachers use the appropriate devise, software and/or application with their students to engage and enhance learning.
Another approach is for teachers to take small steps using one device and software/application at a time. Using it for a general purpose during instruction learning how it can be utilized to increase engagement and enhance learning. As the teacher experiments, they will learn how it works to get the results they desire for students. The bottom line-they must not be scared to use it. The travesty is never using technology! Some teachers are afraid they will look silly trying something they know little about while some would argue they will lose control. Either way, it will be OK! If students learn the content and skills, the goal is met.