Ok, PLEASE help me out. I'm trying to create some materials for pd and want some input. Let's start at the bottom with our email-only, Powerpoint-loving colleagues (nothing wrong with that, just want to help them advance!). What do these teachers need to know in order to teach effectively in today's technology environment? Your list can have MORE than 10 (or less, I guess, but who can think of less than 10?!?) Doesn't have to include only 2.0 tips, could be Office, etc.
Thanks so much, I know every single one of my CR2.0 colleagues has a wealth of knowledge to share :-)

Edited to add: I put the replies together in a "transcript" for those of you wishing to use it for PD. Published it as a GoogleDoc here - http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddx5s2vf_14nk6spfgj

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Hi All,
I was working on a project for a technology leadership class at Michigan State University, and in the final stages of putting it together, I came across this thread. It helped me edit the project I was creating called "Ten Things to Think When Using Technology in the Classroom." (I gave credit where credit is due in the end of the final document). Anyway, I wanted to get some feedback, and also provide it as a resource for others... so check out my blog post about it or visit the webpage to see the finished product.
Hi Kolson,
I am giving a new teachers' workshop on using technology in the classroom. Please go to my website and check out the materials I've prepared. Please feel free to use the entire page or just copy links to meet the needs of your teachers.


I hope this helps.
1. You don't need to print everything, you can save your emails, documents, files, PowerPoints in several ways (external drives, flash drives, shared network drives, folders, etc)

2. The "Help" tab is there to help you solve your problem, but you have to tell the computer what you need to know

3. Technology vocabulary is critical - telling your IT "the thing that does that thing didn't work when I clicked on it" won't solve your problem

4. You have to play and explore, think about how kids learn by playing with something until they figure it out - same concept for adults

5. RELAX! technology should not be stressful, if used properly, it can make your life so much easier

6. Share ideas and successes. If you figure out how to do something, teach someone else on your grade level or in your school - learning can be contagious

7. Ask your administrator to support teachers who are trying to integrate technology in their classrooms - offer incentives for attending classes, reward those who share what they know, and encourage those reluctant ones by letting them go watch another teacher who is using technology

8. Try using something you already know in a new way - For example, have your kids take a story they typed in word and copy it in a blog post, and then ask the other students to read it and respond with 3 positive statements

9. Get inspired - Google "inspired classrooms" and think about the possibilities

10. Practice - you have to keep practicing the skills for the tools.

I had to add one more - find people who are doing what you want to do, reach out to them and ask for help. Honestly, have you ever known anyone who didn't want to share their knowledge?

Hi there!
Let me tell you about some tools instead of giving advice. These are what I consider the 10 tools I couldn't live without. They are listed at random not on importance, all of them are important for my work and of paramount need to increase learners' creativity.

1. In order to change the pace of the class, animations are some of the best ways to achieve this. Go animate.com allows you to design your lesson in an animated way. Students love this, especially when they go there and produce their assignments.
2. PBWiki.com is one of the best ways to promote collaborative writing as well as knowledge construction, letting students learn from each other.
3. YouSendIt.com This website let's you send huge files to colleagues, students, and anyone.
4. If you have your students narrate their PowerPoint presentations and share them through the Internet, then www.slideboom.com is the best site for that.
5. Windows MovieMaker allows students to create their digital stories. This is a creative tool students use to present assignments in a more creative way.
6. YouTube.com The best way to show the world what your students are doing through videos.
7. Content generator.net offers some free software to design multiple choice and drag and drop exercises.
8. Karafun Editor is the best way to design karaoke for the language classroom.
9. Audacity is considered the best audio editor when talking about podcasts production.
10. Hot Potatoes is last but not the least to produce a kind of homemade multimedia exercises.

This is my contribution.
CU Around ;)
Carlos Raul
This is an example from one student in the first course of English, about 30 hours of instruction.
I am a Technology Integration Specialist in Billings, Montana. I provide a variety of staff development opportunities for my district's teachers. As I have tried to perfect my delivery, pedagogy, strategies...I have learned a few things - I try to communicate these findings to my teachers. I don't want to duplicate efforts...so I say "Ditto" to many of the great ideas. My advice is:

*Don't marry yourself to a specific technology. Technology comes and goes and changes so fast that you may find yourself frustrated if you rely too heavily on a specific one.

*Focus on concepts instead of specific technologies or applications...this way, you can transfer your knowledge to new and emerging technology.

*When you are provided with technology training or inservice...don't think that you must learn and implement it all - a common mistake my teachers used to make. I now state, "This might not be the time for you to embrace this technology...if it is, great - explore it. If it isn't just say 'Thank you' and let it go." I find that my teachers really appreciate not being expected to use every technology that is introduced to them. Could you imagine???

*The best way to learn a technology is to explore it and then share your findings with your students or a colleague. We all know... we think we know something until we are asked to explain or show it.

*I know this one has been listed, but it is worth repeating: PLEASE...think about what you want to accomplish, what you want your students to learn or achieve. Then, ask yourself (or a technology helper) what technology best suits this scenario. Don't say, "How can I use this technology." That is backwards, folks....but unfortunately what some of us are faced with when purchasing decisions are done at a district level.

*Finally, no excuses. This is our future we are investing in.

Thank you for this great topic.

1.  Be open minded and be willing to learn and try new things.

2.  Have a back up plan.  Hey, you're teachers, you probably already have one!

3.  Use the technology that is available and find out what works for you and your students.

4.  Be prepared to learn with your students, even at the elementary level.

5.  Databases are an invaluable research tool; it shouldn't always be a "Google" search.

6.  Group students together to help each other, not everyone starts in the same place.

7.  Have students share what they already know; whether it's websites, databases or social media.

8.  Ask "like-minded" colleagues to share how they use technology in their classrooms.

9.  Use the technology you have to better understand the technology you could be using.  For example, you can "Google" how to set up a blog for a class you are taking... :)

10.  Keep in good contact with your Librarian and IT department, they are using technology every day and have great suggestions for implementing technology in your classroom.

For the PD I did for my staff I started with Google (drive, docs, slides, forms, etc.).  There are so many great tools that teachers and students can use.  It is a great way for students to collaborate while each being able to work independently. I also included active participation apps like poll everywhere and plickers (my students love both).  Socrative is great for online quizzes and surveys as the results are instantaneous and you can download the info on an excel spreadsheet.

When working with my students (7th and 8th) grade, I always start with the basics: word and simple internet navigation.  It is amazing how little students know about basic skills (emailing, attaching documents, saving to a particular place or in a particular format, opening multiple tabs, etc.).

It is important to remind teachers that they need to be patient (students will have diverse abilities) and understand that using technology in the beginning will likely take longer than anticipated.  The work you put into frontloading, however, will pay off later in the year.

I think the biggest thing they need to know is first how to use the technology application themselves before implementing it in a classroom. Here is a list of top things teachers should know:

1. Don't be afraid

2. Always ask questions

3. Use your tech facilitator at your school, it is their job to help you

4. Take notes 

5. Practice using and creating with the application 


1. Be able to balance the use of technology and other non-tech classroom resources (when to turn off the ipads)


2. Model and teach responsible digital citizenship


3. Recognize that not all students learn the same way and be able to use technology to cater to different learning styles and levels.


4. Have a wide knowledge of what different technologies are available and how they work.


5. Being able to use technology to make the class fun and effective


6. Be able to provide activities that allow students to work collaboratively


7. Recognize that all the students do not have the same technological resources at home.


8. Knowing what technology is appropriate for each age level


9. Communication with students’ parents


10. Using technology for administrative purposes




I will be addressing number 3 on your list. 

It's extremely important for teachers to have an understanding of how their students learn when trying to incorporate technology into the classroom. Technology is very vast and has the potential to reach many learning styles. However, some technology may not cover every learning style at the same time. 

The three learning styles that teachers hear of most frequently are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic or tactile. The last learning style is probably the most difficult to incorporate into the use of technology.

A student who learns by seeing or visualizing would do well with programs that allow the child to participate using their sight and memory. This may include maybe a matching game, the website Kahoot, an interactive map, a timed math exercise, etc. Their are many ways to meet the needs of a child who learns visually through technology. 

A student who learns through hearing or an auditory learner would do well with websites that allow them to listen to books or articles, rather than reading them. Or perhaps this student would prosper through websites such as VoiceThread where the student interacts with a text or assignment through sound. This particular student may not have ability to see and comprehend, but rather hear and comprehend. 

A student may learn through action or a kinesthetic learner. This student may need to physically do something in order to fully grasp a particular concept. Interactive/hands on programs would fit best for this type of learner. That may mean using programs such as a Smart Board. This would allow the student to answer questions by physically dragging the answer to the question. Or maybe this learner needs an interactive map where he/she can place the cursor over some sort of land mark and then read the facts on it. Or perhaps a chart where the student needs to match a specific leaf to a specific tree. Maybe the student will have to walk around and explore before coming back and electronically recording his/her data. These students will need programs that require physical interaction and involvement. 

Teachers can meet these needs in multiple ways. Perhaps creating stations where students choose a station that fits their learning style and speed. Most importantly the teacher needs to be able to recognize the need for a variety of technological programs and ideas. The teacher will have cater his/her teaching to meet the needs of the different styles and paces of the students. Everyone learns completely differently! Technology is a wonderful source to introduce to learners of all shapes and sizes!

I will discuss number 7 on your list.

As educators, we are responsible for utilizing technology to the best of our ability. Part of our job is to expose our students to different means of learning in order to better their quality of education. This includes the use of technology, but the difficulty comes when our students do not have the same technological resources and exposure to technology, especially at home.

Some students have access to technology from a young age, but others do not. The school you teach at could possibly contribute to the access your students will have to technology. For example, in a low income school or urban poor area, more students do not have knowledge concerning technology. It is unfair for an educator to require the use of technology at home when some students may not have access to any. Now a days teachers are integrating more homework assignments that involve a computer or internet access, but in reality, not all students can access these means. There will always be some students who have limited access or exposure to technology. A teacher should therefore strive to create a learning environment for all socioeconomic backgrounds and learners.

Besides socioeconomic status, students also have various amounts of exposure to technology. Some are more comfortable with using technology and understand different tools that are available, but some have not had this experience. Today, younger children seem to be exposed to technology more than ever before. Therefore, we should continue to add to their knowledge of technology, but we should also make sure other classmates have exposure in the classroom to technology, especially if this exposure lacks at home.

How do we address these issues? We do not simply need to eradicate the use of technology if some of our classroom does not have the resources at home, but rather, we should use class time to expose all of our students to new forms of technology. This could include an hour in the computer lab to work on a paper or simply introducing different modes of technology to our students. This time could allow for questions that otherwise could not be answered at home. Technology should be used within the classroom, especially in such advancing times, in order to educate and expose students to new information.



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