Learning how to effectively use and implement new classroom edtech requires educators to spend their most valuable currency: time. Time spent troubleshooting technology in the classroom is wasted, and it can make educators skeptical of new technology.

My role as a school technology coordinator in San Diego is to make the edtech integration process easy and manageable for our teachers. This was especially true when we decided to implement the blended learning teaching philosophy. Since blended learning increases the role technology plays in education, we needed to find technology that would help our educators make the most effective use of their time.

Regardless of teaching philosophy, you must discover which edtech resources will provide an authentic learning experience for your students and make the most effective use of teachers’ time. The following is a three-step technology integration approach that you can follow to ensure you are prepared to discover and deploy new technology.

1. Align edtech with school mission
Thoroughly assess how a potential edtech resource aligns with your goals as an educator or with your school’s mission before introducing it to your teachers and students. Technology should closely align with these standards:

  • Increase the quality of teacher face time with students
  • Help teachers work smarter, not harder
  • Compatibility with edtech ecosystem
  • Support student achievement goals

For instance, our teachers use iPads for various aspects of instruction (including modeling), but students predominantly use Chromebooks because they need keyboards for web technologies and web-based standardized testing. Therefore, the edtech software we consider must be device agnostic to work around our diverse ecosystem of iPads, Chromebooks and MacBooks.

(Next page: 2 more steps to choosing the best teacher-helpful edtech)

About the Author:

Alex Gonzalez is a technology coordinator at Health Sciences High and Middle College in San Diego and coauthor of educational technology publications including Literacy 2.0: Reading and writing in the 21st century (Fisher, Frey, Gonzalez, 2010, Solution Tree) and Teaching with Tablets, How do I integrate tablets with effective instruction? (Fisher, Frey, Gonzalez, 2013, ASCD). Alex holds a Master’s degree from Michigan State University, with a focus on Educational Technology and is currently a doctoral student in San Diego State University’s Educational Leadership program. Alex’s approach focuses on purposefully integrating technology with pedagogical and content strengths.