- Overuse of technological tools: how easy is it when there is a great app or an app that you want to try? That is the easy part. Include it somewhere in the curriculum. The mistake part: using that same tool for weeks or months on end. Sometimes in the business of planning, it is just easier to include an app or program that the kids are familiar with. Never mind if they have done it to death or are bored, it saves precious time that we teachers do not have enough of. I am Carley and I am guilty of overusing technological tools for convenience.
- Underuse of technological tools: remember that constant struggle for authentic balance? At times, I have failed miserably and often not included anything that will help develop technological skills and enhance learning. Why? I am ashamed to say that the excuses come quickly. I cannot be bothered setting it up or finding the equipment. I do not know how to use the technology. I have not had time to know the content. I am not confident answering questions if they come up. I have millions of excuses at times. So as a result, some tools just are not tried and tested. I may have missed some golden opportunities.
- Having no purpose: At times, I am sure that I sound like a parrot. “But what is the purpose of using this?” A massive mistake that teachers make is including tools for the sake of it or to say that they use it. If there is no purpose, then the kids will know that and it can become a waste of valuable learning time. Is it for the sake of having it on a planner? Are you using an app just to have some technology use for the students? Tools that are used without a purpose can become no more than a ticked box on a planner. Make sure that you have a clear reason for choosing and using a technological tool
- Assumptions about student knowledge: the biggest mistake that I catch myself making is assuming that all students have access to technology and know how to use it. This has been a huge learning curve for me. Just because students are born in an era where technology is embedded in daily use does not mean that they are familiar with it or know how to use it. Technology is not widely available in all homes and some parents only allow minimal technological use. So take the time to become familiar with what skills your kids have and how confident they are using technology.
- Allocating a long time to use technological tools: there is nothing worse than seeing kids sitting at computers and bored after ten minutes. Often technological tools are best used in short, sharp and repetitive bursts. Leave them wanting more! I have watched kids who are sitting at computers for a twenty to thirty minute time frame get bored and zone out after five. The tool needs to have a suitable matching time length. Too long and kids tend to look for other ways to be entertained. Technology must also be in that zone of proximal development and have a time frame to match. If the purpose is revision, then kids should not need half an hour allocated. If the reason is to publish and share work, then the time frame matches. If the game or app can be mastered or played in ten minutes, then that should be the time frame.
#knowyourpurpose #technology #classroom #twocreativeteachers