Bill MacKenty

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How to integrate technology in schools?

Posted in Educational Tech Design Support on 14 - November 2009 at 04:36 PM (14 years ago). 242 views.

1. Have free “technology lunches” where a peer describes and highlights their technology use.  For example: this Monday, I’ve invited all our Moodle-using-teachers for a free lunch.  We’ll show teachers Moodle sites, and talk about what works / what doesn’t.

2. Visit schools.  The key thing? Classroom teachers need to see other classroom teaching actually teaching with technology.  It’s not good enough to hear a teacher talk about teaching with technology, the classroom teacher has to actually see another teacher teaching with technology.

3. Find teachers interested in alternative assessment.  Standard assessments are usually quizzes, papers, poster-boards, tests, and maybe a presentation.  I’m interested in helping students use wikis, websites, and video to demonstrate learning.  The key point? Alternative assessments need to be academically rigorous, and evaluated by rubric.  I’ve found a common theme when we ask students to use technology to demonstrate learning, it is all glam and no substance.

4. Support, support, support.  If a teacher has a technical problem, fix it.  This isn’t complicated, but terribly important.  If a teacher cant trust the technology to work, they won’t use it.  This is why in-class or near-real-time support is critical in schools.

5. When a teacher comes in with a Big Idea, support it.  I’m often surprised when I hear stories about teachers who are eager to do something cool with technology, and then they are often shot down!

6. Make sure technology serves the needs of the teachers. Are your policies so strict that teachers cant do anything on their computers? This doesn’t make much sense, does it?