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Saturday, October 1, 2011

5 Tips for Frustrated Teachers

We are starting into October and school has been going a while. My teacher friends are tired and stressed. Using technology is tough when you are feeling that way. Here are a few tips:

Here are five tips for dealing with classroom technology
  1. ENHANCE YOUR LESSONS: Only use technology when it enhances or adds something of value to your lessons. If students are writing book reports have them record their voices and listen to themselves while editing what they have written.  Technology should not distract from learning. PowerPoint can be a good example of this. It can be more of a distraction from what the students really need to be learning than an enhancement. The bells and whistles can detract from what is important to learn.
  2. ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B: Make sure that you can easily go back to the non technology way of doing things if the network is down or if all of the laptops seem to be acting up. (Also trust your kids, sometimes it is easy for them to figure out something that seems impossible to you.)
  3. BABY STEPS: Every school year take on at least one challenge for yourself in using technology.  You do not have to teach every subject and every lesson with technology, but you do need to keep stretching yourself and using more.
  4. LEARN FROM EACH OTHER: Collaboration is the key with using technology. Learn from what other teachers in your school are doing or if there is no one else in your school or grade level sign on to Twitter and find like-minded teachers to learn from in 140 characters or less!
  5. DON’T FORCE IT:  I have learned the hard way that if something is not working it is much better to just quit, relax and try it again later when I am not feeling frustrated. OFTEN things work the second time after I and the computer have cooled down.
Not only are you being irresponsible as a teacher if you are not using technology, you are also hurting yourself. I know many teachers who were ready to quit, but technology brought new life into their teaching. Try it! It can be fun!


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