The early days in your teaching career can often seem overwhelming. There is a new school environment to get used to, there are skills to practice and hone and, oh yeah – a classroom of kids waiting to be taught!
Thankfully, today’s new teachers have an increasingly diverse range of dedicated technological aids to help them during this key period of their teaching careers. To help you get the best out these various aids and devices, we have put together this list of 5 tops tech tips for new teachers!
Wouldn’t it be handy to have some way of reaching out to and connecting with other teachers in similar situation to you? People you could discuss problems with, bounce ideas off and come up with solutions together?
Well, social media isn’t just for sharing cat videos! It is a tool to connect people with intersecting passions, hobbies and – most importantly for you – careers, such as teaching.
Set up Twitter & Facebook accounts and connect with fellow educators. Perhaps consider keeping this separate from your private accounts however, and be conscious of discussing specific details like student names that could get you into trouble – i.e. don’t do it!
Go To Conferences – Online
There are a wide range of regional, national and even international conferences run for teachers every year. Attending them can provide outstanding additional educational resources and tips and can really jump start your career. The trouble is that time and money required to attend them can be prohibitive.
Instead, consider attending them online. Many conferences live stream presentations, often for free or simply for registering with the conference. Many more even record speeches and presentations, again making them available online for very little money or effort.
Fill Dead Time
Whilst you can plan the events and topics in a lesson to keep students engaged, there will inevitably come a little dead time now and then.
This could be that a task you set is completed faster than you plan, it could even be so simple as a couple of students out the room (in the bathroom or with the principal for example) and you stalling so the class doesn’t accelerate ahead without them.
Keep a bookmark bar or library of links related to your topic on a laptop connected to a projector to fill this time. It could be short YouTube clips of films connected to topics, snippets of interviews with experts or witnesses – anything of this nature will keep the class engaged in the short term and help fill a little time.
Don’t Overdo It
As great an aid as technology can be, one key tip to remember is don’t over do it. A little can go a long way, and technology can often be something of a cold way for a class to learn a subject, with only limited interactions allowed. Use technology to support learning and remember that an in class discussion, talking face to face with no distractions can be highly illuminating for students.
Also, you don’t want to rely on technology too much because when it fails – and it will from time to time – you don’t want your lesson plan to go out the window because the Internet has crashed or a projector won’t cooperate.
Talk to the Tech Team
Speaking of the time the tech lets you down; the school tech team will be your knights in shinning amour in this instance!
But they can also be so much more than this. Almost every school will have someone on staff to look after the school tech – whether this is a team or a single person.
Go to them and ask them what other teachers are doing, what they think is working and what is not. They can also fill you in on the current state of the school tech – to help curb any overambitious plans you may have.