CHS EdTech News

January 2016

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2016 EdTech New Year Resolutions

As we begin to reflect on the use of technology in 2016, consider adotping these four EdTech New Year resolutions for your CHS classroom.

1. I won't add technology for the sake of adding technology.

What is meant by this is that EdTech is here to help you and your students do things they could not do with paper and pencil alone. There needs to be real added value to a classroom with any new piece of tech.

Replacing a paper-based process with technology - and making no real improvements to that process - is, most likely, a waste.

As you experiment with EdTech in 2016 and find new opportunities to connect and engage students, ask yourself what gains a platform is making. This question is a litmus test for tech that truly adds value to your workflow and lesson plan. Additionally, consider looking at the SAMR model and how the integration of technology, and to what extent, it can transform learning.

2. I will use my PLN.

The best way for an edtech newbie to learn the ropes - or for an edtech expert to stay current - is to use the power of their personal learning network. This means asking questions on social media or dropping by Twitter chats, even if it’s just to listen and learn. This means zero shame is giving a colleague a call when you’re trying out a new program for the first time and are genuinely stuck on what to do next.

Ask lots of questions. Share experiences. And - whatever you’re trying to do with edtech this year - don’t do it alone. Contact me or partner with someone in your department to test and learn.

3. Instead of one big goal, I will set smaller, more realistic goals.

Digitizing everything might be a tad ambitious. Resetting entire workflows or building a new 1:1 system are lofty goals.

But what if, instead, your goal was to assign a piece of homework digitally so you could spend less time in class telling students what chapter to read or what problem sets are due?

And, after that, what if your goal was to find a faster way to grade documents from Google Drive with a rubric? Finding a workflow with fewer steps would be a huge time saver and would connect more seamlessly with other systems you have in place that are working.

These smaller approaches are more manageable. Solve one problem at a time. Improve one process at a time. See more success over the calendar year.

4. I will cut myself some slack

Be nice to yourself as you try new programs and platforms with your classroom.

Do your research. Make reasoned decisions. Have some backup plans. And cut yourself some slack if a platform or initiative doesn’t pan out. This just means you’re one step closer to finding the program, tool, or platform that’s the right fit for your classroom.

Source: Chalkup

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CHS Instructional Technologist