Technology has become an instrumental part of teaching and learning, used daily to provide access to resources, foster engagement, and carry out assessments. The 2018/19 State of Technology in Education Report, conducted by global technology provider Promethean, identified that 94% of educators surveyed believe that edtech improves engagement levels and 60% of school leaders recognise technology as an important part of their school strategy.
Rachel Ashmore, head of Promethean Academy, shares some top tips to make sure your edtech is ready for the new term.
Check your apps
Whether you work with an interactive front-of-class display, tablets or laptops, it’s easy to get carried away installing apps throughout the year. One of the best ways to streamline your lessons is to think about which ones you use daily, weekly, or more rarely. There may be apps that you downloaded and never got around to using, or did not fit your requirements.
Taking the time to think over the apps you’ve found most useful over the last academic year can be a helpful thought exercise to try before you return to the classroom.
Taking the time to think over the apps you’ve found most useful over the last academic year can be a helpful thought exercise to try before you return to the classroom. In this way, you can focus on the ones that add value to your lessons and identify areas you feel could do with some extra innovation. Conducting some research into apps which provide engaging content or activities in topics where you don’t have many quality resources will stand you in good stead come the start of the new term.
Once you’re back in the classroom, you can remove those you don’t often use. This will help you keep everything tidy so that your favourites are never more than a few taps away, and free up storage space for more effective software.
For more advice on free educational apps that can help boost learning, take a look at this blog post from Promethean.
Keep it clean
It might be mid-summer, but it’s spring cleaning time for teachers. It’s not just apps that add up – you’ll likely have photos and documents from activities throughout the year that you may not need again.
By cleaning up your digital workspace, you’ll be taking steps towards working more efficiently and saving yourself time over the course of the year.
Look through the materials you’ve got on file and decide whether they are worth keeping. It’s a good opportunity to reorganise your documents and delete what you don’t need.
Stay up to date
The start of the academic year is a great time to open a dialogue with the IT leaders in your school. Ask if they’ve updated any software you use in the classroom over the summer, and if so, whether they can spare a few minutes to take you through any changes. If you were experiencing any performance issues in the past term that you didn’t get around to raising, a quick query could help you get this fixed before lessons begin.
Once you’re back, it’s also worth checking for any updates to your apps with the help of your IT team. Using the latest version of apps will ensure that they run as effectively as possible, and may lend new functionality, performance, or security benefits. By keeping all your resources up to date, you will ensure you’re getting the best mileage out of your edtech.
Involve your students
Once you’ve got all your tech ready for the new term, it’s worth keeping on top of it. You can plan this out with your students as a monthly or termly technology audit. Encourage them to think about which technology and apps they enjoy using most, and have a conversation about what they find most engaging.
It is worth taking the time to ensure that you are making the most of your technology and that you’re ready to hit the ground running in the new term.
Getting your students involved in this activity will encourage them to think about educational technology, and how they prefer to use it. Another way to approach this is by appointing one or two pupils to be digital leaders in the classroom. These individuals can play a role in researching new educational apps, and ensuring that current resources are effective and enjoyed by their peers as the year goes on.
Technology has the potential to empower students and teachers alike, enriching teaching and learning experiences in the classroom. It is worth taking the time to ensure that you are making the most of your technology and that you’re ready to hit the ground running in the new term.
If your class loves technology and you are interested in winning an education technology package for your school, Promethean’s #ClassroomStory competition is returning for the new academic year.
Visit www.classroomstory.co.uk for more information.