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EdTech Expert Provides Educators with Steps to Staying On Top of Digital Trends

EdTech Expert Provides Educators with Steps to Staying On Top of Digital Trends

In a recent University of Phoenix College of Education survey conducted by Harris Poll, only 15 percent of teacher respondents would give themselves an “A” when it comes to their educational technology skills.

In fact, 2 in 5 would give themselves a “C” or lower and more than half would like to learn more about integrating edtech into the classroom.

That doesn’t mean teachers are refraining from using technology, nonetheless.

The survey found that 55 percent of K-12 teachers use technology in their classrooms on a daily basis, while 9 in 10 use technology at least once a week.

When it comes to what technology they’re using, the study found that teachers mostly use laptops (85 percent), interactive white boards (75 percent) and tablets/e-readers (67 percent).

Specifically, the respondents cited a lack of funding coupled with a lack of familiarity with the technology tools as the main culprits behind their inability to integrate edtech into the classroom as much as they would like to.

Kathy Cook, dean of educational technology for University of Phoenix College of Education and former K-12 educator, makes several recommendations for how educators can conquer these obstacles and move forward.

She said in a statement that the following are the steps educators should follow to stay on top of digital trends:

  • building a foundation
  • reviewing technology standards and integration models
  • connecting with your network
  • being innovative with your resources
  • continuing to learn from the best 

The full text of her recommendations is as follows:

  1. Build a foundation. Familiarize yourself with the tools that exist. This will help you build a foundation to understand what devices students are using. Having a starting point can help you innovate ways to bring that technology into your classroom.
  2. Review technology standards and integration models. As the role of the teacher continues to evolve with technological advancements, it is important to incorporate experiences that are helping students succeed in this environment. A great way to learn more is to familiarize yourself with the ISTE Standards for Teachers and Students, the SAMR Model and the TPACK Model, which help define what today’s teachers need to know to connect with and enable student success in today’s digital landscape.
  3. Connect with your network. Connect with other teachers within and outside of your district to see what tools they are incorporating for learning. Be proactive in your approach to incorporating technology for learning. For example, when you are working on a specific project, create a plan and outcome, then think about what channels you can use to execute your plan more effectively.
  4. Be innovative with your resources. For teachers looking to integrate technology into the classroom, be creative with what you use. Digital cameras, interactive white boards and video web tools are a few you can use to get started.
  5. Continue to learn from the best. Your students have the pulse on the latest advancements in technology. To spur critical thinking in your classrooms, task them with coming up with innovative ways to use tech in and outside of the classroom.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

10/12/2016

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