Welcome to your new classroom! Here is your Chromebook, your cart of iPads, your interactive whiteboard, and a copy of the digital literacy expectations for our students… Good luck!
If you’re a new teacher, you’ve probably heard these words recently. You may have found yourself wondering how to use the devices so generously bestowed upon your class — so, we’ve listed a few tips to keep you from getting overwhelmed.
1. Make friends with the tech integration specialist at your school.
This person will be able to help you work through the technical difficulties of plugging in your devices and learning simple troubleshooting techniques.
2. On the first day of school, identify a student tech whiz.
Chances are your students had a similar technology setup in their classrooms last year and more than a few of them are probably well versed in troubleshooting and setup. Give them a chance to shine. You may have so many interested tech gurus that you have to set up a rotation.
3. Find your favorite how-to blogs or Pinterest pages.
You are NOT the first teacher to have these problems. If you’re not comfortable asking someone in your school for help, ask someone on the Internet instead! Pinterest pages like this one are especially helpful for ideas using iPads in class and finding digital resources and activities.
4. Go slowly; there’s no need to jump into each device in the first week of school.
Before school starts, set up your class rules for handling the technology and review with them your school’s Acceptable Use Policy, like this one from South Berwyn District 100. You’ll likely have to send home permission slips so your students are allowed to work online. If you share a cart of devices with another class, figure out what the rotation schedule will be. There’s a lot of administrative work to getting your digital classroom up and running — but that gives you some extra time to get used to the tools.
Once you get comfortable you’ll find that using tech can save you time and energy and that your students will develop greater interest in the subject matter. Just take it one step at a time and remember you’re not alone!