Wordle-Kim-Cohen

During a staff meeting, the principal says: “Some of you are using social media in your classes. Twitter. Facebook. Some of you are using cellphones and apps in your classes. Talk to your colleagues, see how you can use them too.”

Many of us, teachers, feel pressure to incorporate technology to every single one of our classes. Principals and administrators may walk in your classroom anytime to observe you, and what if you didn’t use technology in that particular class? Is that such a crime nowadays?

Well, the real answer is no. What technology allows us to do these days is just amazing! No doubt about that. But the thing is: Integrating technology in your lessons goes beyond simply saying “I’ll use mobile devices next week. There’s this great app my colleague is using so I’ll just use that.” The truth is, this happens all the time and we all need to do that once in a while, to experiment with different sites, apps, online resources, etc. However, the only way that technology integration will be successful and will actually enhance learning is when it goes hand by hand with our curriculum planning, with the design of our instruction.

How does this specific mobile app fit within my lesson planning? How does it help me reach my instructional goals? This all takes careful planning. Careful design. It’s something to think about.

Instead of overwhelming yourself with trying to use so many different e-resources at once, concentrate on one or two. And try not to design around them but see how they can be built into your lessons to support the activities you’re designing. That’s key. Technology will be more meaningful that way. It’ll have more impact on the students.

Now, this seems like a lot of work, I know. Take one step at a time. You can suggest to your department for each of you to experiment with one or two tech resources. Talk to your students as well. What do they think? Meet after a couple of months or more and share your findings with your colleagues.

Just remember: Technology is not to override curriculum planning. It should be carefully planned into the design of our instruction.

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