Clevertouch’s Edtech Enabler team offers some practical tips to overcome your fears.
It doesn’t matter if you are a new teacher or have been teaching for years, new technology can be extremely daunting. Teachers are already crunched for time and are under enormous pressure to offer an enriched learning experience, with a sometimes prescriptive set of state standards, under constant scrutiny and deliver outstanding student results. And if that’s not enough – they’re also expected to utilize their class technology with the dexterity and confidence of a seasoned pro.
If you feel like this, you’re in good company. Most teachers we’ve trained using our Clevertouch kit start off feeling the same.
More often than not it’s fear of the unknown; we empower people by teaching practical ways they can eliminate their fears using simple techniques and steps – follow our advice and you’ll begin to love your tech.
Before you start you need to accept that technology is here to stay, and however much you want to ignore it, it’s not going anywhere. Change is a part of 21st century living - nothing stays the same. From the way we access our bank accounts to controlling our heating, we are becoming ever more reliant on digital technology. And the same applies to the classroom and that can be scary. Many teachers believe that to stay in control of a class means they must know everything; accepting that your students will likely know more about technology than you do is hard. But that’s just what you need to do – accept that it really is ok that you don’t know technology as well as your students. As soon as the teachers I’ve trained realise this, their minds immediately open up to all the positive aspects that technology brings.
This is something you are no doubt already doing in class – inviting pupils to take over and explain an equation, a subject or show a piece of work to their classmates. But why not ask your students to show you how to pull in a YouTube video, mirror screens or help you find some the whiteboarding functions. It’s okay to reach out to them and ask them to teach you and the rest of the class – you’ll be amazed at how willing your students are to teach you about technology. Make it a fundamental part of the lesson – ‘find something new on Clevertouch everyday’ - they’ll be far more engaged in the lesson if they are actively participating themselves.
Why not have a tech day where each student picks something technology-based that they want to share with the class and ask them to show how it works on the Clevertouch screen. This is a great way to learn about new technology, keep up with the apps your students are using and find out what interests them. You might even be able to incorporate these into your future lessons.
Appoint a student technology expert. It there’s something you don’t know – give to the student expert to find the answer. Children love to be selected for special projects – especially if they’ve been chosen for their expertise. Admittedly, this may not work out too well if the children are younger, but age 10 and over most will know their way around a touchscreen well.
The more you use it the more confident you’ll become. And don’t worry, if it’s been professionally installed, most tech these days is indestructible, and most data is recoverable.
You don’t need to know everything from the start - the most important thing is to start small and grow your knowledge from there. For instance, start by learning all the whiteboarding tools – different colours, backgrounds, font size, shapes and so on, before moving on to pull in videos from YouTube, copy and paste images, screen mirroring and sharing. If you incorporate something new every day, before you know it, you’ll be an expert.
Talk about it
Don’t be afraid to talk to colleagues about your fears – a lot of them will be feeling the same. You can then share ideas and plan together. Buddy up with a colleague − there will be teachers who have more tech experience so work with them. Perhaps even make arrangements with a colleague who is willing to teach you a few things after-school for a few days.
Ask for training
School budgets are tight and all too often training isn’t a big consideration when new tech is installed. It’s assumed the teacher will find a way. Clevertouch customers are offered training for life – so if you use a Clevertouch and need a hand please get in touch. But even if you’re not using Clevertouch, speak to the school leaders and request some training. I believe good training is even more important than