Did you recently start using new technology in the classroom? We're aware that this could be a difficult process!
The start of a school year often goes hand in hand with the introduction of new digital tools. The teacher is often left alone in getting it implemented successfully.
In this blog post we want to prove that it doesn't have to be that difficult. With some good practical guidance, you can avoid a lot of stress!
Let's take the introduction of an interactive whiteboard or flat panel (IWB) as an example. What we definitely want to avoid is that this new gadget becomes a source of frustration and disappointment. You will inevitably end up replacing the IWB by traditional tools as illustrated in this picture :
But how do you avoid this in the most efficient way? How do you get to a smooth implementation?
The success depends on good professional development!
Education is constantly evolving. It has to be interactive, inspiring and above all, process-oriented. An efficient training will help the teacher to develop an interactive, inspiring and process-oriented lesson.
In order to achieve this, training courses must go beyond the instruction of the technical skills. They need to be aligned with the vision of the school, the competences of the teacher and the students' inquisitiveness. A teacher needs to learn how to:
draw attention to the lesson subject,
use interactive tools,
visualize discussion topics,
prepare activities as part of the lesson.
The ultimate goal must be to go for better learning outcomes and a higher student engagement!
THE POWER OF GOOD PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The real power of a training lies in the inspiration, the enthusiasm and the exchange of ideas. And having teachers as trainers, it gives the immediate advantage that they can easily recognize a problem and they can also give many practical examples during the training. This increases the success of the training session. This way teachers are challenged to let go of the uncertainty they may have. The objective is to offer teachers opportunities to better motivate students and improve learning!
WHAT EFFECT DOES IT HAVE ON STUDENTS?
Students perform better in class, they will keep hold of new information much longer and they will learn skills which are necessary in these modern times.
Research shows us that reading strategies clearly improve and, for example, interactive vocabulary exercises produce better results.
The classroom of the 21st century is interactive, integrated and inspiring!
A TAILORED OFFERING THAT WILL GUARANTEE SUCCESS
In a previous blog post we have already described how you can implement digital tools successfully. We defined 3 simple stages of the technology implementation process.
Only by offering a tailored training program that responds to the schools' and teachers' needs, is will guarantee success. Let's have a look at the different options:
An introduction to the possibilities and functions of the hardware and a basic overview of the software. After this training the teacher can handle the technical operations, which are necessary for using the hard- and software. Such a training would take about 1.5 to 2 hours.
This training focuses on more interactive functions in the software and allows teachers to use it even more effectively and to create more process-oriented lessons. More advanced techniques will be practiced during this 'hands on' training session. This will enable teachers to train their students on 21st century learning skills (collaboration, technical literacy, creativity, critical thinking, effective communication).
A training that is fully aligned with the school’s wishes and that responds to the teachers’ needs. This could be a subject specific training, but this could also be an advanced software training. This training will be based on different workshops that are related to the different user levels.
Train the trainer
During this training session teachers will be prepared to train their peer teachers. They will get specific advice and presentation materials related to the training program. Teachers will be guided using a process-oriented training method. After this session teachers will be able to train peer teachers on the basic skills and the didactic approach. This way the school will become independent in the future when additional training is needed.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY
During this training session teachers will work in specific groups (based on subject or grade level) to create specific content in the software. An Education Consultant will guide the teachers during this interactive session. Teachers will also be practicing on more student focused teaching skills (ex. working with student devices).