Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

My Journey Into Classroom Technology Integration

My Journey Into Classroom Technology Integration

By Nicole Long

Today we have a special blog post—this is the forward in our edtech ebook, written by the lovely and brilliant teacher, Nicole Long. Her experience provides invaluable insight into what it takes to bring technology into your classroom, one step at a time. You buy our ebook, for just $2.99, at Amazon and Smashwords to read the rest of the book and get free, printable checklists. 

Failure is not a word we commonly like to embrace as teachers, but imperfection and failure are common elements of technology in the classroom, and that has to be ok.

By this, as a teacher who has made technology integration a vital part of my teaching philosophy, I mean that flexibility and comfort in the unknown enables me to embrace more, and worry less.

Much like the first few years of your teaching career, where trial error are just as prominent as lesson planning and pedagogy, the early years of integrating technology into your classroom will also rely on content knowledge, trial and error, reflection, and most importantly, patience.

Failure is okay

Equip yourself with a lot of patience.

When I first began integrating technology in my classroom, preparing myself for the onslaught of student questions and technology “fails” was just as time consuming as the actual lesson planning itself.

It requires a strong resolve to bring these new-age opportunities into your classroom, not just because of the extra planning and work, but because of the opportunity for failure.

One of the first technology projects I brought to my students involved Glogster, the online web tool that allows students to create media-rich, interactive online posters. It took me three days just to get my students logged in and comfortable with the program—of course by comfortable, I mean a lower standard of grumblings.

After that, the students spent a vast majority of their time picking the perfect graphics and icons rather than choosing quality content. Finally, we left for the weekend and returned two days later to an impromptu county decision to block YouTube for students, disabling one of the core reasons they were using Glogster, to embed videos.

Failure after failure, question after question, complaint after complaint, my resolve never faltered because, in the end, these projects were far more in depth and articulate than any paper my students would write. In addition to understanding the eventual objective, my students learned to design, plan, prepare, problem solve, and publish.

I realized, after this first attempt, that this was my future, this was now part of my teaching philosophy.

When you can combine passion with pedagogy, and prepare yourself for the patience and plan B’s required, technology can change the landscape of your classroom forever, and entirely for the better.

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