Monday, November 29, 2010

10 Tips for Teaching Technology to Students

I recently read 10 Tips for Teaching Technology to Teachers by Liz Davis at http://edtechpower.blogspot.com/2009/09/10-tips-for-teaching-technology-to.html  This got me thinking about this list in terms of students. I have taken Liz’s list and “tweaked” it a bit to reflect 10 Tips for Teaching Technology to Students. I left number 10 the same but simply changed teacher to student because that was perfectly written as it was and I could not agree more.


Please share your thoughts and suggestions!

1. It isn't really about the tool it is about how you use it: It isn’t about how pretty you make your essay using borders and clipart on Microsoft Word, it is about the content. The animations and sounds in PowerPoint are great but do they help demonstrate your learning or your message?

2. Differentiate: Provide lots of choices and options for students to use. Let them type an essay, create a movie, put together a photo story, use Crazy Talk to animate a “famous dead” person. Choices and options are key!

3. Don't be the only teacher in the room: Students know more than most teachers on a lot of the new programs and software out there. Let students teach each other and share their knowledge and experience. Make groups with a group leader who is proficient in the technology being used.

4. Ask lots of questions: Encourage your students to ask questions and look for answers with them. Don’t provide the answers to them but give them the opportunity to seek out the answers themselves.

5. Enlist your PLN: Have students work collaboratively with their PLN (Peer Learning Network). Before they ask the teacher a question have them ask their neighbor or peer in the classroom or connect online with Skype or another tool to other classrooms.

6. Remember there is great learning without technology: Remind students that they can show their learning without technology. Technology is a great resource but learning can be shown and can take place without technology.

7. Acknowledge your students' anxiety and expertise: While many students will come in with a more extensive skill set every year, some students simply do not have the technology access that other do. Some students walk into my classroom that has a reputation of being “technology heavy” and are anxious. That is where differentiated instruction and flexible grouping come in to play. The key is to have high expectations but to be aware enough to check everyone’s technology “pulse” from time to time.

8. Start with the early adopters: In every class there will be some kids that are far and above other student’s in their access, experience, and competency with technology. Get those students on board with your projects and let them be your models and you assistants in the room.

9. Have Student Observe Each Other: If you can, get students to see other students who are more advanced than them. They can learn from each other and pick up ideas just from watching. In addition, through those observations they will feel more comfortable talking to a peer than a teacher about things they don’t understand.

10. Don't touch the mouse: “Tie your arm behind your back if you have to, but try not to take over mousing for your (students). This is one of the hardest things for me to do, but also one of the most important. When people mouse they learn to do things themselves, when I do it for them they learn to watch me do it.”
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