Bringing technology into the classroom is a major endeavor for most teachers. School days are not designed for experimentation and classrooms are often not designed well for a smooth use of technology. And new users often make the mistake of trying to do it all at once. But adding technology a step at a time is the best way. So start with what seems like minor projects. For example, use your computer to create basic but useful things for your classroom. Here are some steps you can take:
- Excel is great for creating a class list, especially since you can enter names in any order and then sort alphabetically. It is also great when the inevitable new student appears. Just type his/her name nad the bottom of the list and re-sort. Whether the name is Jones or Murphy, it will appear in the proper place.
- Type up a template for substitute plans. Then when it is needed you will only have to edit a bit.
- Create a seating chart using a drawing program or the program Inspiration if you have it.
- Use email to communicate with other teachers and, most importantly, with parents.
- Join a listserv to keep up with what others are doing. There are listservs for just about any interest. If you get behind in reading just delete or ignore the older messages and continue with the newest.
Here are three excellent examples:
International Reading Association
The World Wide Web in Education
The best place to find a listserv is from the recommendation of others OR from an organization to which you belong.
Read blogs and begin listening to podcasts for your own professional development. It is amazing how similar the experiences of teachers are, even all across our land.
Next Tip: Step at a Time with Students