One of the main challenges for many teachers trying to implement an integrated curriculum is trying to keep up with the most recent advancements in technology. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. The fact is no one can keep up with every new application and device—it would be impossible. For some educators, it might be hard to not stress over not having knowledge of the entire Ed Tech world, but what’s more important is using the technology you have effectively. With that said, there are a number of ways to stay abreast of relevant technology without spending all of your time on it. If you’re feeling like technology is just moving too quickly, here are some tips for easily staying up-to-date.
Expand Your Tech Network
One of the great things about Twitter and other forms of social media is that there is a tremendous network of teachers and education bloggers constantly sharing technology tips and discussing new apps. Find tech-savvy colleagues and bloggers that seem in the know and then reach out to them for new tech recommendations and ideas. For even more information, look to people in the information technology industry. IT websites will often have insights into both the Ed Tech world and broader technology developments.
Determine Your Tech Needs
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important to determine what technology best suits your needs. If you only teach language arts and creative writing classes, the newest math apps might not be pertinent to your classroom. That doesn’t mean it’s not great to know these programs, but an intimate knowledge of them likely won’t be required throughout the course of your day. Decide what technology will benefit you and your students, and then introduce it accordingly.
Spend some time every couple weeks browsing new apps and devices. Take this opportunity to explore programs and try out apps without the sole intention of implementing them in your classroom. Instead, just browse and try things out for fun. Use resources from your tech network and check out education blogs for the latest advancements, and then try out the apps they recommend. Once you have experimented with several new applications, you can decide which ones could potentially be useful in your classroom. Regularly setting aside a little time to try out new tech will help you stay informed.