By Lynn Zimmerman
Editor, Teacher Education
With school getting ready to start back in many places, it seems like a good time to review how and why you use technology in the classroom. Educators in the 21st century work with technology in one form or another every day. Most are comfortable with some but not all types of technology.
Dian Schaffhauser, in THE Journal, reported on a national survey given to “teachers, administrators and tech leaders to tell us how technology energizes their classrooms.” Her article, “5 Essential Multimedia Skills Every Educator Must Master,” addresses the top five skills that were identified by educators. Besides “Troubleshooting Your Own Tech” and “Embracing Curiosity,” using videos and podcasts for the flipped classroom was one of the “instructional tools [that] could increase student interest and participation in class.”
Another skill that she focused on was knowing how to use the equipment in your classroom. She quotes Cameron Mount, an English instructor at Brookdale Community College (NJ): “Just about everything available in the room to use should be used. Variation in modes of instruction is not just a good idea; it’s practically compulsory in the day of the [individualized education program] and multimodal learning.”
The final skill addressed was how to use presentation software effectively. Although tools such as PowerPoint have been around a long time, many presenters still do not use them effectively. You have probably been victim to “death by PowerPoint” on various occasions. However, just transferring bad slides over to Prezi isn’t going to help.
Presentations need to be planned carefully, just as one would any other teaching tool and strategy. I confess, I was dismayed that effective presentations is still such an issue that this one made the top five. However, having sat through a presentation recently in which the presenter mumbled his way through the copious text on his slides, I shouldn’t have been surprised.
What about you? How do you use technology effectively? Where do you need to make some improvements?
Filed under: Instructional Technology |