Tech Tips

Caring for and Managing Classroom Technology

Distractions of the Past

  1. Note writing
  2. Sleeping
  3. Completing homework for another class
  4. Talking
  5. Being absent unexpectedly (or expectedly)
  6. Scheduling of class meetings, fire drills, special population testing, etc.

How do we solve these problems?

You are a professional!

Teaching requires us to have a solid command of our room while allowing students enough freedom to learn and grow. It also tests our abilities to think on the fly and make quick changes when copiers don't work or power goes out or school is delayed or whatever.

Adding technology doesn't change any of this. All we have to do now is make sure and include our expectations for technology in our classroom policies and procedures while remaining flexible when things don't go quite the way we planned.

Some Ideas

Below I have linked many articles that give various tips for managing technology in the classroom. Here is a quick list of some things to think about trying or adapting to fit your needs:

Make sure

  • students understand technology as a TOOL and not a TOY in the classroom
  • the use of technology is meaningful to the lesson/subject matter (No technology for technology's sake)
  • the right tech tool for the job is being used
  • you include technology expectations in your class policies and procedure and review them briefly before using tech
  • you understand the district's acceptable use and share it with your students
  • you have an administrator supported system for handling technology being misused (the cell block, cell phone jail, confiscation till the end of class, tech time-out, etc.)

Also

  • consider a student tech manager
  • assign each student the same device number each class day during a project
  • have tech check-ins (10 to 15 second period of time where students can update a status or whatever)
  • make available apps or websites that you have pre-approved where students can "play" if they finish an assignment early
  • have a consistent terminology letting students know when it is okay to use personal devices

There are some things you are going to have to understand and accept:


  • refusing to acknowledge that technology has a place in education and your classroom hurts your students and you
  • fighting with a student about his/her device will never work out for you
  • admitting you cannot possibly know everything there is to know about every app and tech tool makes you human not an inadequate teacher
  • asking students to help you teach a tool and/or share what they know with their classmates is a fabulous way for everyone to learn something new
  • knowing that sometimes the lesson isn't going to go as planned and that is okay


This is the hardest part of what needs to happen if we want successful integration of technology because as teachers we love to be in total control of our class and what goes on in it. However, if we spend all our time trying to stay ahead of the tech game, we will lose something else (usually our sanity).

Check out this post to make sure you avoid common mistakes.

Okay, that was me just trying to get my Star Wars in...

...but I truly believe you've got this. Any time something new shows up, we all have to help each other out. Technology is no different. Find your strengths, use them, and share them. Sometimes things won't work, and you just need to be honest with your students about it. When things do work out (and they will), do your dance! Celebrate it because it means you've taken your first step into a much larger world!