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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Are you an EdTech Jedi?

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting at the Hull and East Riding IT conference. In my keynote, I discussed what Star Wars can teach use about effective use of EdTech in the classroom.


I thought I would share some of these ideas -


For teachers to make the most of technology in the classroom, they need to believe it can transform teaching and learning. This tends to happen once a teacher has seen how technology can help them as a teacher, how it can make their life easier by saving them time and improving their practice.


One of the biggest problems in getting teachers to utilise technology is the fear that it might not work, it might not go to plan. Teachers need to stop focusing on what might go wrong and focus on what can go right!


Learn from mistakes. Lessons don't always go to plan but reflect and evaluate and learn from it. Most teachers will look through my blog and think every lesson is fantastic but behind a really successful lesson will be a lesson that didn't work. I see a lot of schools who promote the growth mindset approach and so should be practising what they preach!


When things do go well, share it! Inspire others by sharing and celebrating good practice by blogging and tweeting about it. 


Don't be afraid to ask for help. This again is where social media can be so powerful. Using Twitter or Facebook allows you to join a global staffroom where you can ask questions, find resources, ideas and inspiration from amazing educators all over the world. 


Make sure there is a purpose behind using technology in class. Don't use it for the sake of it and don't fall for the gimmicks. Technology should always be used as a tool to enhance great teaching not substitute poor teaching. For me, technology starts transforming learning when children move from being consumers to creators!


Technology can support students and make them much more independent with their learning. Let them lead their learning with technology as the tool to let them create, demonstrate and share. I also love how this phrase in can be applied to the approach teachers should have towards using technology in the classroom. Trying to learn new things, using technology to find new ideas, tools and strategies to improve their teaching. Setting the example!



Have high expectations of what your students can achieve when given the opportunity to tinker and play. Far too often, we constrict children to follow instructions to accomplish a goal. Giving students the freedom to tinker with a new tech tool can lead to some deep and wonderful learning experiences. 


Don't fall into the trap of teaching to a test. This won't provide students with a positive learning experience, instead will turn children off. When technology is used effectively in the classroom, it can add meaning, purpose and make children care! One of my favourite phrases from John Murray - "Don't just teach the curriculum, teach the whole child."


Finally, give tech a go! Take a risk, try something new knowing it can enhance and enrich learning in the classroom. 

May the force be with you!






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