Teaching Strategies: Back To School Tech Tips

December 02, 2014
CJ Cannizzaro

back-to-school3 Tips to Engage Students with Education Technology from Day 1

The first few days of school are usually hectic for both teachers and students. Teachers are anxious to see their new students and get to know them, while students are anxious to meet their new teachers and classmates. Amid all of this anxiety is the opportunity for teachers to establish that all-important “rapport” with their students. While learning classroom rules and routines can be tedious it is an important element that will set the tone for the entire school year.

Get your students engaged in Education Technology from Day 1 by following these 3 easy tips!

1. Let them know that the technology they have been playing with all summer will have a place in the classroom. Along with the regular classroom rules and expectations, engage them in a discussion of the rules for technology use. (These should be available through your school district). You can even have them brainstorm ways to use technology in different subject areas. Whether your school supplies the technology or has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, this will let your students know that you are on board with the way they learn!

2. Actions speak louder than words…show your students that you are tech savvy by introducing classroom rules and expectations on a whiteboard or through a PowerPoint or Prezi. (You can use the link on the picture for a freebie!) They have probably been playing video games all summer, so showing an appropriate video from http://www.teachertube.com will entertain and inform them on what they can expect. There is a great assortment of back-to-school videos for every grade level. You can also have education technology projects created by students from the previous school year on display on laptops in your classroom. Allow your students to participate in a “gallery walk” to view these presentations.

3. Actively engaging your students often includes allowing them to collaborate in small groups and then report back to the class. Have your students participate in this activity with the lists of brainstormed ideas for using technology in the classroom. You can assign a different subject area (math, science, social studies, reading/writing) to each small group…then have the class vote on the best ideas. You will most likely be quite surprised with their ideas and may even find some that are new to you!

Whether you are a first year newbie or a veteran teacher, using these easy tips will enable your students to make a smooth transition from the lazy, hazy days of summer and “fall back” into the school year routine with enthusiasm and excitement.

CJ is a certified professional educator with a MS in Instructional Technology. With over 25 years in education she is a consultant  to educational textbook publishers, school districts and corporations. As a professional development and training specialist  she was a major contributor to the CPALMS project, as well as a designer and facilitator for the Florida PROMiSE Grant Initiative.  She has written professional development courses to integrate technology in the classroom and collaborated with school districts  on Common Core for Math grades K-8. Originally a NJ native, she now resides in Florida where she continues to share her teaching strategies and educational technology ideas.