Even in the best of times, using technology to teach your students can sometimes be a frustrating process. But with patience and an open mind, that process can also yield tremendous rewards for both the teacher as well as the student. The CTL’s resident Taoist, Bill Drummond, has compiled a few nuggets of wisdom to help you keep calm, find your center and ultimately, to peacefully co-exist with Instructional Technology.
- You are a teacher and your goal is student success. Don’t let the technology get in the way.
- Technology is a strict observer of Murphy’s Law. Something WILL go wrong. Cultivate patience and always have a back up plan.
- Your Students do not necessarily know more about technology than you. Their knowledge is often “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Be confident, but remain open to suggestion.
- If you need help, ask for it. No one knows everything about technology; it is much too complex and changes far too quickly for anyone to truly be an expert. Don’t be embarrassed by a lack of knowledge. Learn along with your students.
- Let technology do what it does best: transmit, record, and store information. Help your students do what they need to do: use technology as a tool to acquire, internalize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate.
- Technology can also be a tool to help students appreciate, manipulate, visualize, create, and share. Facilitate their use of these powerful tools, while helping them see the tools for what they are, a means to an end.
- Learning happens most naturally when it is fun. Use technology to help make learning fun.
- Technology can help students individualize their learning. It can also help them learn as part of a social group. Both are important. Neither should be neglected.
- Maintain a “presence,” even when your students are separated from you and each other by space or time. This will help your students engage with the learning by engaging with you.
- Smile a lot, and let that smile shine through even if no one can see you.
Thank you Bill! If you need a guide on the path of technological enlightenment, visit Bill at the CTL Lab at South Campus. He and the rest of the CTL staff are ready to help.