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Tech Savvy Educators

Tech Savvy Educators

As technology advances, teachers must adjust their teaching styles to keep students engaged in learning. However, it is not enough to just add technology to a classroom. Tech-savvy teachers are needed in order “to direct e-learning activities in a way that enhances education” (Clarke, Maldenado, Zagarell, 2012). The best way to help teachers make these adjustments is through technology training. Tech-savvy teachers help create a positive environment where students are more engaged and find learning enjoyable.    

Teacher technology training allows the technological divide between students and teachers to disappear and is crucial to the success of e-learning in schools (Creating Tech-Savvy Teachers). Teachers rarely change their teaching styles; however, training teachers would give them the support to try new ways to incorporate technology into their lessons. According to a survey of K-12 teachers, seventy-six percent indicated that training is the key to increasing technology use in the classroom (Miller, Schrum, Shelley, 2008). Besides training, schools also need to help the teachers educate their students on online safety and digital citizenship. This allows technology to be controlled in the classroom and helps avoid time-wasting, overuse, and nonbeneficial game playing (Creating Tech-Savvy Teachers).

Being a tech-savvy teacher requires proper equipment as well as support from the school. Tech-savvy teachers need not only appropriate skills from training, but also resources and positive attitudes to adopt these new learned skills into the classroom. One survey shows that fifty-four percent of teachers struggle financially to incorporate technology in the classroom (Miller, Schrum, Shelley, 2008). If schools do not support the use of technology in the classroom, it is difficult for teachers to do so themselves.

Through initial training sessions and continuous support, teachers become more comfortable and capable to use technology in the classroom. Tech-savvy educators benefit students as they become more engaged in lessons and eager to learn more information.

Bebell, D. and Key, R. (January 2010). One to One Computing: A Summary of the Quantitative Results from the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative. The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9. Retrieved from https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/jtla/article/viewFile/1607/1462-accessdate=19  

Doran, L. and Herold, B. (May 17,2016). 1-to-1 Laptop Initiative Boost Student Scores, Study Finds. Education Week, 35 (31). Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/05/18/1-to-1-laptop-initiatives-boost-student-scores-study.html  

Goodwin, B. (February 2011). One-to-One Laptop Progress Are No Silver Bullets. Educational Leadership, 68 (5). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/feb11/vol68/num05/One-to-One_Laptop_Programs_Are_No_Silver_Bullet.aspx  

November, A. (February 10, 2013). Why Schools Must Move Beyond One-to-One Computing. November Learning. Retrieved from http://novemberlearning.com/educational-resources-for-educators/teaching-and-learning-articles/why-schools-must-move-beyond-one-to-one-computing/  

The Benefits of One-to-One Technology in the Classroom. (2016) McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from https://www.mheducation.ca/blog/the-benefits-of-one-to-one-technology-in-the-classroom/  

Tech-Savvy Educators Research

Technology in the Classroom: Teachers and Technology

  • Lefebvre, Deaudelin, and Loiselle (2006) posit that up-to-the-minute technology is a tool that can positively affect teaching and learning in the classroom. The only way to give our students a successful opportunity in the world market is to bridge the technological divide that exists in our schools. 
  • The United States Department of Education provided millions of dollars to universities, K-12 schools, state departments of education, and other educational agencies through an initiative known as Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers To Teach With Technology.
  • Digital natives have more confidence in their abilities than teachers who have less computer experience. Overconfidence can become a problem, however, as these users may feel they do not need training in ICT. In many cases, these teachers may experience technological glitches or problems and thus need excellent technical support. Others may be intimidated by the technology and, thus, are reluctant to use it in their classrooms. Becta’s survey of practitioners (2004) (as cited in Bingimlas, 2009 Bingimlas, K. A. 2009. Barriers to the successful integration of ICT in teaching and learning environments: A review of literature. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 5(3): 235–245. [Google Scholar]) shed light on the fact that lack of confidence was the problem most participants identified. These teachers require extensive training and support systems to be able to acclimate themselves to the new technology. Without effective training, many of these teachers will continue to use the same methods of teaching they have always used. 
  • Newhouse (2002, as cited in Bingimlas, 2009) argued that initial training is needed for teachers to develop appropriate skills, knowledge, and attitudes regarding the effective use of computers to support learning by their students. Without proper training and continuing workshops to keep them abreast of new technological advances, many teachers will experience problems that will increase their feelings of intimidation. Balanskat, Blamire, and Kefala (2006) also found that limitations in ICT knowledge make teachers feel anxious about using ICT in their classrooms.

Creating Tech-Savvy Teachers

  • Today young people are very often as knowledgeable or even more adept at IT related functions than their educators. Therefore teacher training is crucial to the success of e-learning in schools. 
  • Research shows that if technology is not managed correctly in the classroom it can lead to time-wasting, overuse, game playing mindsets, privacy risks and many other harmful consequences. 
  • It is important to note that technology itself does not have the power to improve learning in the classroom. It requires a tech-savvy teacher to direct e-learning activities in a way that enhances education. 
  • Technology can open doors for students and teachers if it is properly managed in the classroom. 

10 Habits of Tech-Savvy Schools

Habits of Tech Savvy Schools: 

  • They make ongoing professional development a priority.
  • They invest in the right equipment.
  • Technology use is frequent and widespread.
  • They have a clear plan.
  • They involve all stakeholders.
  • They have a web presence.
  • They have an adequate support staff.
  • They teach students about online safety and digital citizenship.
  • Teachers use technology for collaboration and learning.
  • Communication occurs via nontraditional formats.

Understanding Tech-Savvy teachers: Identifying their Characteristics, Motivation, and Challenges

  • In the past twenty years, a gradual transformation has occurred in public education; now, teachers are being required and expected to use educational technology in one form or another in their classrooms (Collier, Weinburgh, & Rivera, 2004). With continual increases in new technology, many school districts have or are in the process of adopting new methods to improve communication, teaching, and learning. Underlying these new methods are the hopes that teachers will learn the skills to effectively use technology as an effective part of their instruction.
  • Teachers felt motivated to use technology because it increased their own feelings of self-efficacy. The participants believed that they were better teachers because technology allowed them to be more creative and improve their teaching.
  • According to 92% of the survey respondents, the most common concern was the challenge of funding for training and for hardware/software. Many participants indicated that they spend several hundred to several thousand dollars of their own money annually on technology for their classrooms and personal use.
  • Even though lack of training was reported as an obstacle to educational technology use by 54% of the tech-savvy educators, they reported funding was a major obstacle to seeking that training.

The Importance of Teaching Technology to Teachers

  • Teachers are hungry to use technology in their classrooms. But they don’t. While part of this lack of usage stems from problems with education reform that emerges from administrators and education boards not fully understanding the technologies themselves, another part of teachers not using technology in the classroom comes from the simple fact that they don’t know how to use the technologies, let alone how to incorporate these technologies into their classrooms.

Great Benefits of Technology in Education

  • We all know how difficult to engage the children in learning. However they enjoy the process when the instructor uses white board or touch screen technology in order to make classes more interactive and interesting. In that way it’s easy to attract the kid’s attention. By the way, the involving technology in the educational process makes education more enjoyable both for the instructors and the learners. 

Training Teachers to Integrate Technology

  • Training sessions give educators everything they need to effectively incorporate technology into their teaching. Rather than demonstrating technology at offsite training sessions, let teachers try it themselves in their own classrooms, with appropriate support where needed. 
  • As digital natives grow up to become teachers, they’ll naturally incorporate technology into their classrooms.  Like their students, young teachers use technology outside of school, but because they didn’t learn using technology, they don’t know how to integrate it into their curricula. “Teachers generally teach the way they were taught,” explains Holly Jobe, who served as project manager for Pennsylvania’s Classrooms for the Future program. “They’re not going to change unless they experience it in a different way. 

The Importance of Teacher Training

  • However, in order for technology to achieve its maximum potential, it must be harnessed and implemented properly. This requires that the facilitator, the teacher, possess a certain set of knowledge and skills to understand how and when various tools best support their curricula. Unfortunately, many teachers aren’t provided which the proper training before being handed new tools. 
  • Technology alone isn’t enough. According to Pew Research, only 50 percent of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers working in the lowest income areas consider their schools to be doing a “good job” providing resources and supporting teachers’ need to utilize digital tools in the classroom. Moreover, in a new nationwide survey of K-12 teachers conducted by digedu, 50 percent of teachers reported inadequate assistance when using technology in the classroom. 
  • 76% of surveyed K-12 teachers responded that training is the key to increased technology use.