4 steps to implementing an effective teacher tech training program
Technology has become essential to the modern learning experience, but empowering educators to use it effectively is just as critical – and the numbers prove it.
A failure to help teachers understand and properly leverage technology is likely to render it largely ineffective. Educators who are not given the time and opportunity to learn how new tools and devices can be used to deepen learning and differentiate instruction are not likely to integrate them into their everyday curriculum in an impactful way.
In assessing their technology needs, schools must also assess their own ability to blend these tools into the learning experience. This includes having professional development programs in place to help teachers successfully leverage devices to benefit both teaching and learning.
Here are four tips for implementing an effective teacher tech training program within your school.
Tip 1: Talk to your teachers
The first step in understanding what your teachers need to succeed with technology is to get their input on it.
It’s important to know:
- What teachers are trying to accomplish academically that is proving to be challenging
- What their base level knowledge of tech is
- How they are currently using technology in the classroom
- What their current comfort levels are
- Which tools or tech topics they would like to know more about
Apart from engaging in regular conversation around these topics with your educators, a pre-training survey can help inform the basis and foundation of your tech training program. Which areas are of the greatest need for the greatest number of teachers?
Oftentimes, teachers don’t even know what might be available to them or what they’re deficient in until they see it offered. Talk about the importance of options and give examples, like leveraging interactive flat panels more effectively in class, content creation apps, or tips for keeping students on task, etc. These options could align to overall school goals and/or to teacher interest and need.
Speaking with teachers and administrators from neighboring schools and districts can also provide valuable insight into what strategies have worked most effectively for others in a similar boat.
Tip 2: Include tech-savvy students
In many cases, the students of today are more tech-literate than their teachers. Granted, dialing in the right Snapchat filter is a bit different than using digital tools and devices to spur increased engagement, but digital-native students can nevertheless provide valuable insight into using certain aspects of technology.
Gathering student input via surveys can also enhance the learning process for both sides, as educators can hear firsthand the best ways to use technology from those they’ll be using it to assist. This might also uncover any digital literacy gaps within your student body and can help identify good areas of focus within future curriculum.
Tip 3: Make it flexible
We all know how busy teachers can be, which means the timing and format of professional development opportunities must be made flexible for them to take full advantage. Just as student learning has become more remote and hybrid in nature, teacher training must do the same.
Scheduling mandatory training sessions for all teachers will be ineffective for those who already have existing knowledge of the topic. Sessions should be optional (with incentives to attend) and highly targeted toward the areas of greatest need. Then, teachers can attend at their own pace and preference to serve their own development.
Trafera has partnered with Eduscape to provide award-winning onsite professional development and asynchronous online development through MyEduscape. Onsite learning can either be done by topic of choice or via custom sessions.
MyEduscape contains over 300 hours of on-demand content that can lead to continuing education and micro-credentials. There are over 35 learning paths where teachers can join like-minded educators from across the country to boost their skills, network, and knowledge.
Tip 4: Establish a cycle of continuous improvement
Once your teacher tech training program is up and running, remain in close discussion with teachers around how things are going.
- Which strategies are proving the most effective?
- Which areas are in need of more attention or a different approach?
- Are there new areas that should be added to the mix?
Issuing a survey around these points every 60 or 90 days can prove an effective strategy and will help determine how your program should be modified moving forward. Maybe creating and leveraging digital lesson plans needs additional attention. Perhaps the majority of your teachers are up-to-speed on using Google Workspace for Education. Whatever the case may be, if your program is not growing and evolving alongside the developing needs of your teachers, then it’s not doing its job.
Transform learning experiences with Trafera
At Trafera, we believe technology can only improve learning experiences when we make people our number one investment. We partner with the industry’s most trusted brands to provide students and educators with the tools and technology they need to transform the learning experience in 2022 and beyond. With Trafera on your team, we’ll work together to navigate the complexities of today’s learning environment is a supportive and empowering way.
Contact us today to learn more about providing your students with a more engaged and a more connected experience this school year and beyond.