Let’s start with the first point:
DON’T ADD TECH FOR THE SAKE OF TECH
Technology, while an integral part of today’s society, suffers when integrated in ways that are antithetical to good teaching. We don’t give “free time” generally with anything else, why would we do so with technology? Our first thought needs to be the good pedagogy – the inquiry, problem solving, the student voice and choice – then how we can support with technology. Trying to hammer in something cool without working on the seamless integration takes time and careful thought.
That being said, it really isn’t very hard to start adding technology into your classroom. Let’s start with some basics.
Starting your Classroom with Classroom
The first step is to create a landing place for you and your students to share and disseminate information, tools, assignments and anything else that your class needs. My current favourite is Google Classroom, partially because we are a GoogleApps board, but also because it is an easy way to have a walled garden within which to play. Check out this slideshow on the basics of Google Classroom.
Now that you have the basics, why not try and set up your own classroom. See below for the basics:
Be Better Searchers
Let’s face it, searching is a skill you have to learn. We are not innately good searchers, and students especially need tools to help them sift through the tsunami of information at their fingertips.
Allowing your students to make mistakes and judge their own sources will give them the skills to be better. You can use these google docs to help your students along.
Making Better Movies
Our first instinct when filming is to keep a camera static and capture what is essentially a skit filmed. While easy to share, it quickly becomes uninteresting. Why not do a unit on film, that leads students to be better filmmakers? Your students will be engaged, and you will get better products back! Check out this presentation below for good places to start.
I always find that OKGO is a great place to start when getting students to see how much can be created for very little cost: