Unsure about Ed Tech

Unsure about Ed Tech

Here’s how to build confidence.

Original article by Daniel Scott. A Review by Cristina Pereira

Educators and Parents, let’s take a moment to get real. 

How do we feel about Educational Technology? Never did we imagine that how we teach and learn could change so dramatically and so quickly. 

Digital teaching along with new apps, updates, programs, and apparatuses can be overwhelming. Regardless, these tools when used wisely can be time-saving and life-changing! Every day the information changes, and what is accurate and new today, in a month is quickly the older obsolete version.

There is just so much information out there, we constantly need to keep up to date. No need to despair, Ed Tech isn’t as daunting as it seems. To help our children thrive in this digital age we must portray CONFIDENCE, you heard it here, “Many of us suffer from a lack of confidence in our abilities when using digital technology”.

Educational Technology, when used appropriately, promises a fun, hands-on science, engineering and other learning programs that can inspire kids in the important formative years.

According to a recent study by The Education and Training Foundation, “37 percent of learners felt that ‘teachers lack confidence in digital skills’, this perception creates a barrier in using technology in learning”, when in fact ed-tech is really just a tool that is meant to make our jobs easier. 

What can we as teachers do to help us break this barrier in learning as well as build our confidence along the way? How can we become more digitally capable?

Scott urges us, educators, to be aware of our “personal and organizational barriers”. The consciousness of our obstacles is key in determining what can and can’t be achieved when using educational technology in the classroom. Let us join him in this conversation, finding positive solutions to “overcome barriers so that we can positively engage, develop and extend our digital capabilities. “ Ultimately, once we can overcome existing apprehensions concerning digital teaching, ed tech can be used to our advantage, becoming our best ally to engage in learning and discovery. 

The following summary of suggestions provided by Scott is meant to empower us on expanding our digital proficiency.

  1. Get help. Find a role model who can share tips. Observe colleagues who dominate educational technology. Join online communities.
  2. Research ideas on how to integrate ed tech into learning opportunities.
  3. Practice. Practice leads to ownership.

Technology can make a big difference. With a variety of innovative ways to teach and learn, modern technology does indeed offer methods for different students, including gaming for visual learners.

Here is a list from our friends at Common Sense Education, highlighting the top-rated apps and websites built to help support teachers in digital teaching- Best Tools for Back to School as well as teaching Strategies and Resources.

Happy learning,

Cristina Pereira

Questions to Ponder…

  • What training does your school provide to students to help them explore and use technology responsibly and keep safe in the digital era? 
  • Do you believe that technology should be restricted? 
  • How many hours of technological immersion do you allow your child a day? 
  • Do you believe that it has become ever so more difficult to restrict or control exposure now that ed-tech has become mainstream in school?
  • Would this time frame change if they were using their device for tech purposes?
  • How many devices should a child handle? Laptops, cellphones, tablets, gaming devices…? How do you control the use of these devices?
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