Most school districts have only a few educational technology professionals—mostly teachers and administrators with instructional design backgrounds—who are tasked with understanding how technology blends with hardware, software and multimedia to create a positive and effective learning environment for students.
With technology changing so rapidly, and with new programs being designed to take advantage of the benefits of that technology, it can be difficult for educational technology professionals to stay up-to-date on the freshest ideas, let alone map out how they can be used in the classroom. Here are some tips on how to harness and utilize the best ideas being bandied about today.
Best Practices for Educational Technology Professionals
The teachers and administrators involved in educational technology are usually very comfortable communicating and learning from online sources, including blogs, chats, social media and professional magazines. This is a good way to stay connected, learn about new initiatives and build relationships with others who are interested in the same educational criteria. Most professionals rely on:
- Collaboration. With so much information available online, it’s easy to chat with other teachers and technology professionals to share information and new ideas about school and classroom learning. Knowing what’s working and what isn’t means that you can discuss it with other professionals through social media platforms like Twitter. If you think you can’t have an in-depth discussion about technology in education using just 160 characters, you should take a look. Right now, there are more than 100 education-related chats that you can join, including the broad-based #edchat or early education chat #kinderchat.
- Testing.Whether students in your district are studying for the SATs and the Advanced Placement Program or are beginning Common Core state standards, advanced technology is now an indelible part of assessments. Quality and accessibility of testing can pinpoint what students are learning—and what they are struggling with—so their instruction can be improved and scoring advances implemented. Adaptive testing and online assessments introduce new methods that can help to focus on individual students’ strengths.
- Use of the Right Tools. Teachers and technology professionals require stable, yet innovative, tools for both in-classroom and out-of-classroom assignments. Mobile learning is this decade’s most talked-about term, since it has the ability to change the way learning is delivered and assessed. Teachers must have up-to-date classroom tools to deliver instruction as it’s adapted into the curriculum. That means that all teachers should have a laptop or an iPad for both lessons and testing, use social media to share ideas and have knowledge of apps that can be utilized for students who have access to either school-provided or home-provided technology.
Lindenwood Online offers a graduate program in Educational Technology. It’s convenient and perfect not only for teachers who want to learn how to design and develop initiatives for their schools but also for staff in an instructional technology department at a company. Contact Lindenwood Online today to learn more about an MA in Educational Technology.