Integrating new technology into the classroom is no easy feat. Most teachers have to spend time on their own figuring out new technology and then how to use it in addition with their lessons. On top of all that, it’s not enough to just be using the technology. Tech needs to enhance the lesson and, hopefully, cultivate more engagement.
There is a real need for structured professional development. Teachers are asking for more interactive training to teach them how to use the tech so they feel confident using it to take their lessons to the next level.
Technology has always come with a varying learning curve. Younger teachers are at a slight advantage because most have grown up using tech, but older generations of teachers have a lot more to learn. Establishing varying levels of interactive training can help teachers of all levels learn the technology and use it effectively.
The problem is that many districts don’t currently have any type of infrastructure set in place. Training takes time, money, and time away from the classroom. It is no easy fix, but something needs to change.
Nonprofits and teacher founded companies have begun to emerge in order to tackle the growing problem within technology based education. These companies know what needs to be done from experience and take the time to come up with the structure, tools, and lessons to make it easier for any teacher to start learning.
Some districts are lucky enough to have been tech focused from early on and have created fantastic training programs. The process clearly has worked for some, but we need to get it working for all!
If you are a teacher who will benefit from professional development, speak up to administration. Let them know where you are struggling and how further instruction would help make the new technology even more effective than it has been.
Technology is the future of education and our world. Investing in education to better our teachers will in turn provide a better learning experience for all students. Their jobs will demand the use of technology, so why not make them tech experts as early as possible.