Teaching Technology Versus Teaching With Technology
There’s no question that technology has changed the educational landscape forever. Much like the printing press and the telephone, today’s technology has revolutionized the way that we interact with each other. The Internet, personal computers, and mobile devices have combined to become the most open, disruptive communication and collaboration network ever created, dramatically changing business, journalism, and politics, as well as the everyday lives of billions of people.
It’s no wonder that experts in the educational field want to capitalize on information technology to increase learning and student retention—not only does educational technology make learning more fun and engaging, it also mirrors how students are already communicating with each other and how they will be expected to communicate in the workplace.
Unfortunately, even though educational technology continues to advance, becoming easier and more intuitive, many teachers express misgivings about integrating technology into the learning process. The most common complaint we hear from teachers is that, due to time constraints, they wind up spending all of their time teaching about the technology rather than teaching with the technology. In theory, educational technology presents a great opportunity; in practice, teaching with technology remains a challenge for many teachers.
This is where proper training and networking with other teachers come into play. At Clear Touch, we never just deliver one of our interactive displays to your classroom, wish you luck and leave you on your own to figure it all out. To the contrary; in addition to our on-site training, we’ve established Clear Touch Academy, through which we offer continuing support and other resources to help you make the most of your new technology. We believe that learning comes first, and technology comes second—in other words, that technology should enhance your lessons, not be the primary focus of classroom learning. Here are a few of the ways we help teachers make their technology work for their classroom:
On-Site Training. Don’t go it alone. Request on-site training on any topic at any time. Learning how to integrate technology into your lesson plans can be more rewarding when you are working with your peers, creating personal learning networks, and establishing accountability with your collaborators.
Ongoing Customer Support. Our online customer support includes software downloads, instructional videos, and a help center where you can submit a support ticket. We are 100% U.S. owned-and-operated, and we employ regional support staff to guarantee that you get a response quickly.
Clear Touch Academy. When you sign up for a free account with Clear Touch Academy, you get 24/7 access to exclusive content, include training videos, written content, and web clinics. Our Snowflake Course is particularly helpful for teachers—learn how to sign up for the MultiTeach Lessons Community to share lessons that you’ve created on Snowflake and search for and download lessons that other teachers have shared. Lessons are categorized by subject and grade level to make planning even faster.
Ultimately, the main takeaway is that proper training is essential if you want to do more with your educational technology than teach students how to use it—or use it as a high-tech presentation device. Crafting thoughtful, interactive lessons that make full use of collaborative technology takes a little planning, but it doesn’t necessarily have to take up all of your time. Network with other teachers in the Clear Touch community and take advantage of the ongoing training and support we offer to create beautiful lessons without overtaxing yourself. After all, you have to have enough energy left to interact enthusiastically with your students and provide hands-on teaching each week.