Erasmus - Technology

erasmus blogTechnology, as we all know, is part and parcel of modern life and its transformational power, whether we like it or not, does not stop outside our school door. The pressure to hype up our teaching is high, but classroom computers are still limited in number, Internet access cannot be relied on and we’re too busy anyway. Busy meeting standards. Busy prepping students for tests. We are busy dealing with paperwork. Besides, we’re quite comfortable within our methodological comfort zones, thank you very much. And yet technology is here to stay, so maybe, just maybe, instead of wasting our efforts keeping it out of our classrooms, we could budge just a little and let it in. But how do we go about making the process as painless as possible?

1. USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT

Even classrooms with no computers are rich in technology. After all, most students come to class equipped with their own devices. Not only are these devices capable of just as much (or even more) than regular computers, they also have certain, potentially infuriating and yet irresistible things about them, which can be exploited to enhance your teaching.

2. DEFINE OBJECTVES

Remember that using technology is not a goal in and of itself. It makes no sense unless it serves to support the learning process. That’s why you should start by defining your objectives and only then select relevant tools. Make sure the objectives are clear to all involved, especially when dealing with older students, for whom technology-based class activities may hold no obvious appeal (or have no apparent value).

3. START SMALL

Start with short activities and simple tools. A five- or ten-minute activity here and there will spice up your lesson if it works well and won’t ruin it if it doesn’t. And each successful activity will boost your confidence (and perhaps even curiosity) to go bigger. A step-by-step approach is likely to benefit your students and it will make it less likely for the less tech-savvy ones to be left behind.

4. PLAN AHEAD

Planning is a big part of success. Before you use a tool in class, play with it at home or – even better – in the classroom in which you’ll be using it with your students. If possible, check if it works on various devices and figure out how to troubleshoot. Do not feel as if you need to be an expert on every single tool you use, but make sure you feel comfortable using it and helping others to use it. And even if you’ve done all of the above, have plan B to make sure learning doesn’t grind to a halt if, for whatever reason, technology fails.

5. REAP THE BENEFITS

With a bit of courage, an open mind and some careful planning, you will soon be able to enjoy the benefits that technology can bring into your teaching, and these are quite exciting indeed. Find out what they are yourself or check out our next blog post.

Artykuł autorstwa Barbary Jóźwiak - lektorki Lang LTC powstał W ramach projektu Erasmus+ Mobilność Kadry Edukacji Szkolnej.