As tech savvy as our students are this day and age, understanding a least a little about tech is a necessity for all educators. Here are a few tips that I can throw your way. Hope they're helpful!
1. Set up a Twitter account
Twitter is a great starting point for any educator who wants to be connected. Everyone needs a Professional Learning Network (PLN). Twitter allows you to take your small, local PLN and blow it up! Within a few weeks of setting up my account, my PLN grew from a few teachers on my campus to hundreds of teachers world-wide. Why would I not want to have all of that knowledge and experience at my fingertips? The key to this being successful will be learning who to follow and what hashtags (#) to follow. Here are a few good ones to start with:
People worth following
2. Voxer: 24/7 Personalized PD in your pocket
Download the Voxer app. Now. Seriously, stop reading this and download it. For me, Voxer takes what I am able to do on Twitter as far as connecting with other educators to the next level. What is slightly impersonal on Twitter, because of the fact that it’s text only and limited to 140 characters, becomes very personal. I’m able to connect with other educators across the country with my voice. Hearing someone else’s voice that you’ve connected with and been learning with takes the connection and ability to learn from/with that person to another level. It’s AWESOME! Set up an account and find me (BClarksonTX). I’ll hook you up with some great people to learn from.
3. Research the flipped class model and DO IT
Though not new, the flipped class has become a fairly hot trend in education over the past few years. My first stab at it happened in the 2014-2015 school year. Long story, short it was highly successful. I won’t sit here and tell you that my scores skyrocketed. What I will tell you, however, is that there are many more reasons to “flip” your class than to have higher achievement. Here are just a few.
4. Start blogging
I thought for the longest time that blogs were purely narcissistic. The reason I started blogging is the same reason you’re sitting here reading this right now. Educators are (or should be) constantly searching for ways to hone their skills. I don’t claim to be a great writer and I don’t expect any awards for this post. What I’m looking for is simply a platform to share what I’m learning as I go through my career. Hopefully, someone benefits from it and can better themselves. Share what you know. Someone out there can learn from you! If you want to start a blog, Weebly is a great place to start.
5. Attend a tech conference (or just a conference)
Here are a few good ones to look into (most will not happen again until 2017 but go ahead and put them on the calendar):
Brent Clarkson, M.Ed.