The learning needs of the digital generations require that educators change their view of teaching and learning. This shift in professional mindset has been specially challenging for educators from the non-digital generation. How can we help them be part of this new way of teaching?
You have raised an excellent question. It's always difficult to get teachers to move outside their comfort zone and try something new--especially when it involves technology. So often, teachers feel overwhelmed by what the students know and they don't know. That can be very intimidating!
I think Thinkfinity is a great place to start to encourage colleagues to use technology. As they use the Keyword Search on the homepage to locate resources, many of the interactives, lessons, podcasts, videos, etc. will guide them in using technology. I also recommend sharing our free online course-Thinkfinity, Your Professional Learning Community (PLC)-and the Webinar Index with colleagues to introduce them to technology integration in their curriculum.
Professional development opportunities within your school district may offer some opportunities for those not familiar with technology to learn how to use it in their classrooms.
Sometimes having a teacher who is comfortable with digital learning mentor a teacher who needs assistance is a way of helping that teacher bridge the digital generation gap.
I'll be interested in reading ideas that others share in this discussion. I believe it's essential to shift the professional mindset of educators to digital learning because today's students are accustomed to this type of learning environment.
My school district will soon upgrade technology by providing iPads for classroom use. I look forward to having professional development training opportunities in this regard. It could be a first step in getting teachers involved in upgrading their own teaching practice too.
The addition of iPads to your classroom sounds great. Using technology is a wonderful way to engage students and increase their learning on mobile devices that they like and enjoy. We have many groups in the Community that give members a forum for sharing and gaining new teaching insights. You may like joining one or more of these groups:
Please let us know how well the iPads work in your classroom. I am sure others will enjoy reading about your experiences and lesson ideas. Thanks for sharing.
I think the best thing we can do for them is GOOD PD. I know about 7 years ago when my school get SmartBoards in each classroom, there were teachers that were not "tech savy." My school didn't do the best job on training all of these teachers and so I started a SmartBoard workshop and asked teachers to come to my room during their planning periods and taught them little things here and there. Baby steps with technology... let them try something first, feel success, and then give them another task.
Last year I was chosen to show the math HS teachers at Littleton a way to incorporate the SmartBoard for more student involvement -- I only showed them things that were math related and I felt that they would use in the classroom. I got really good feedback and the teachers seemed to catch on fast and started using the SmartBoard right away to help with graphing and other software apps they were already using.