We all make New Year’s resolutions in many areas of our lives, and this habit makes January the perfect time to try new things and build good routines. As such, any teacher or student who has been considering using a new EdTech platform should seize this opportunity to become familiar with the tools that will be vital to the classroom of the future. While the sheer number of EdTech platforms that are available can be daunting at times, new users and EdTech veterans alike often find researching and trying new tools to be an exciting and rewarding process. The guidelines below will motivate teachers and their students to set realistic EdTech goals for 2015.
1. Think about purpose
Using EdTech for its own sake can to lead teachers and students to commit to tools that don’t work for them. No EdTech platform should be introduced unless it justifies the time, effort, and money involved by delivering improved learning outcomes, so determine whether a new tool addresses the needs of teachers and their students.
2. Do your research
Although the amount of relevant information available online may seem overwhelming, this is often the best source of information about new EdTech platforms. Identify your needs and narrow your search until you are left with information about a few tools and contact EdTech companies with any questions or requests.
3. Ask students for ideas
Teachers should involve their students in choosing new EdTech platforms in order to identify and address their needs. Students may have heard about promising tools from their friends or online, and obtaining as much information as possible will lead to more efficient decision-making.
4. Ask teachers for ideas
Students who are interested in trying EdTech can work with their teachers to generate a list of potentially suitable platforms, and teachers can ask their colleagues about tools that they’ve tried. Obtaining information from teachers in school and online will facilitate your assessment of a new platform.
5. Try something new
Whether you find a new way of using an old tool or introduce a new type of technology to the classroom, trying something new will challenge teachers and their students. As I mentioned in my last post, starting a new term can provide teachers and students alike with the energy to get creative and try new things.
6. Use once a week
Forming good habits is vital to success, and using EdTech in the classroom at least once a week will benefit teachers and their students. We recommend that users of our Adaptemy pilot programme for Junior Cert maths work on the system in class once a week and at home in their own time.
As mentioned in my recent post, “Troubleshooting For EdTech Beginners”, many new EdTech users find themselves facing similar difficulties at first. Determine whether these difficulties are common or specific to a particular product and ask the company for help if necessary.
Teachers will always be vital in education, but some teachers find it difficult to adjust to using technology the classroom. Remember that actively engaging with EdTech platforms allows teachers and students to get the most out of the experience and that teacher engagement encourages students to connect.
9. Ask for feedback
Asking students for feedback when a new tool is introduced will allow teachers to determine whether or not the platform is effective. Students know what’s best for them, and enjoying the experience while exhibiting improved learning outcomes indicates that they’re on the right path.
10. Give feedback
All companies rely on user feedback to improve their product or service, and EdTech companies are no exception. Teachers are at the centre of any tool that is designed for use in the classroom, so contacting the company directly or providing public feedback via social media will lead to improvements in the future.
Following the above resolutions in 2015 will bring students and teachers up to date with the future of classroom learning, and introducing EdTech platforms can be an enjoyable experience for all involved. Tweet us @adaptemy or post on our Facebook page to let us know your EdTech resolutions for 2015, and visit adaptemy.com for more information about our platform.