Experts say some teachers are still are reluctant to use technology, mostly because of a lack of time, a lack of resources, or a lack of confidence in their ability to use the available technology. It’s no secret that helping teachers get up to speed with technology is a challenge, as some teachers have a difficult time navigating basic computer skills. As schools around the globe begin to adopt the use of digital technology in their learning environments, teachers that struggle with technology can be left feeling inept and marginalized by the implementation of new tech tools in their schools. Here are 3 Ideas to help teachers struggling with technology.
1. Have a Strong Tech Support Team: Integrating new technology can be very stressful for educators that aren’t familiar with it. Having a support team that’s flexible and available to help struggling teachers is crucial for any tech rollout. A solid tech team can consist of teachers, support staff or administrators. Make receiving help easy and convenient by partnering up those with advanced skills with those that are intimidated. Some districts have educational technology instructors or coordinators that are available to help teachers incorporate technology into their lessons. Helping teachers understand how to incorporate technology into their lessons makes it relevant and helps them understand not only how to use technology, but how to use it to teach more effectively.
2. Create Professional Development Opportunities Focused on Technology: Set aside time for technology focused professional development. Make sure teachers understand the value of overcoming the hurdle of technology. Be sure to scaffold the implementation process. Teachers that struggle with technology might feel overwhelmed if they are bombarded with everything at once, introduce tech slowly and methodically, don’t deliver too much too soon. Have your tech support team develop a feasible plan to provide effective professional development by getting input from individual teachers. Be sure to give teachers time to play, experiment, and implement recently learned tech right away.
3. Keep Them Encouraged: Even with quality PD and the best resources available, some teachers will still struggle. Support them! Acknowledge baby steps and keep them motivated. Once they have conquered one technology, present them with another to master. Encourage them and celebrate their willingness to try new things. Always focus on learning and share their successes.
Do you have any tips for helping teachers that struggle with technology? Have you had experience as a teacher working to master technology? How have others assisted you? Please share your experiences or tips in the comments section below.