How Edtech for Teachers Helps Collaboration and Professional Learning
There are plenty of reasons and ways to use edtech with students in the classroom, but what about edtech for teachers?
Our recent chat with Monica Burns reminded us not to forget about teachers using technology for themselves.
The author of Ed Tech Essentials and founder of Class Tech Tips encourages educators to use tech tools for their own professional learning.
In this PLtogether Lounge Talk, Monica Burns talked with Edthena founder and CEO Adam Geller about the advantages of integrating educational technology into adult learning.
Watch the full interview above or read the highlights below, including how edtech for teachers can help boost collaboration.
Edtech for teachers bridges the gaps to more collaboration
Educators benefit greatly from seeing each other in action. Observing the veteran teacher down the hall effectively facilitating Socratic seminars helps new teachers see and hear what success looks like.
But observations during the school day can feel impossible to schedule. Access to video and other edtech for teachers that can record instruction help enable seeing others’ instruction asynchronously.
And, seeing teachers with students from within your own building or district may resonate more than a random instructional video found on YouTube.
Monica noted, “It’s much more meaningful to see your colleague down the hall doing something wonderful that you’re ready to replicate, [rather] than something that might feel a little bit more anonymous or unrelatable.”
Tech tools, such as video, also come in handy to serve as pieces of evidence that can be revisited time and again.
“The power of video in those situations is to be able to go back to the tape,” Monica said. “[You’re] able to give really specific praise and feedback in a particular area, when you have that video artifact.”
In addition to the aspect of flexible time to watch others’ teaching, video-powered edtech for teachers can bridge geographical obstacles as well.
Perhaps you’re teaching a unique content area or working on a skill that no one else in the building shares.
Monica told us, “If you’re able to bridge those gaps … you have a potential to really build a professional learning community outside of your school or your district.”
Edtech can help teachers create portfolios and catalog resources
Thinking of how students use technology can offer more ideas for how edtech for teachers can be utilized.
For example, students are often asked to build digital portfolios of their work, and teachers can do the same.
Monica shared, “It’s a good opportunity to build out an artifact of your professional experience over the course of the year.” This rings especially true now as educators are gaining new skills with remote and distance teaching.
A digital portfolio can be very helpful to share when applying to new jobs or roles.
In addition, teachers often gather a multitude of resources, such as primary source documents, to supplement a curriculum.
In order to avoid having to search for the same resources repeatedly, teachers should work smarter, not harder.
“Everything from creating a Wakelet collection full of resources for a unit of study that’s coming up, to creating a Google Drive folder full of different presentation decks you might pull from,” are ideas Monica suggested for resource-building via edtech for teachers.
Tech tools aren’t just for the kids
Teachers and school leaders often focus their use of technology on classroom implementation and student engagement.
There are many opportunities for teachers to adapt their own learning and growth to the modern era as well.