Without proper guidance and support, it is easy for teachers to feel overwhelmed and anxious about integrating technology into their classrooms. An Education Week report revealed that only about 50 percent of educators are comfortable with technology and an even smaller number use it for activities other than testing. Another study from Harris Interactive revealed that 89 percent of teachers think edtech improves student outcomes but only 14 percent of teachers use digital curricula weekly.
One major contributor to this disconnect is teacher uncertainty about how to use tech in their lessons. With that in mind, here are four common issues teachers face and some tried-and-true solutions and resources they can use to troubleshoot their discomfort.
1. Lack of functional knowledge about the tech their district uses. Many districts do not prepare their teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms.
- Browse online for professional development (PD) resources that address common edtech tools to position yourself for success. Another way to educate yourself is to seek advanced education that combines lessons and innovative practices.
- If your district doesn’t offer PD, encourage your leadership to start! PD can be invaluable for not only the teachers themselves, but the students as well.
- Tackle commonly used edtech in grades K-12, such as Google digital tools and iPads. Gaining this type of mastery will provide a foundation for continued learning.
- Make sure you are continually updating your skills. The best PD is ongoing. Just as we encourage students to be lifelong learners, we need teachers to practice that as well.