The technology we use is continuously changing. As a teacher that wants to be using technology effectively in the classroom, it can feel overwhelming to keep up. The good news is that you aren’t alone! You have technology gurus at your fingertips—all you need to do is utilize them!
When my district rolled out our 1 to 1 technology initiative, and all of my first graders received their own iPad, it didn’t take me long to realize that my 6-year-olds knew more about the iPads than I did. This can feel intimidating to teachers, at least it did to me at first (and I even considered myself a pretty tech-savvy teacher.) The truth I discovered is that my job as a teacher is not to be the source of knowledge, but instead to be the guide of learning. It’s okay that my students know more about the technology than I do. In fact, this frees me up to do my job better because I have 22 technology experts right in my classroom!
As teachers, we need to let go of the fact that we don’t know it all, and let our students take ownership of learning as we guide them to success! Here are 3 tips that I have learned over the last few years as I have embraced new technology by letting students have more active roles in technology implementation:
- Let students be the teacher: Students love being teachers! I created an “iPad Guru” leadership role in our classroom jobs. This student is in charge of learning our new apps and then teaching the rest of the class how to use it.
- Let students collaborate: Students learn so much when we give them the opportunity to learn with and from each other. Have students work on technology projects together—you will be amazed at the results.
- Let students troubleshoot: When students have a problem with their iPads they don’t come running to me. They first ask a peer and 90% of the time their classmate knows the answer. They can also check with the student who is the iPad Guru at the time. By doing this we are also teaching them real world skills that will benefit them longer than the time they are in our classrooms!
New technology can be intimidating, but by utilizing the strengths and skills of your students it gives them ownership of their learning while allowing you to guide them to success!
Becca Foxwell is an energetic first grade teacher whose heart comes alive in the classroom! She is a TPT Teacher-Author, speaker and presenter, and 2016 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Foxwell is passionate about instilling a love of learning within the hearts of her students and believes that learning should be fun and engaging as we prepare our students for 21st century success! You can learn more about Mrs. Foxwell at: http://www.foxwellforest.com/