Staying completely up to date on technology is an impossible task. From day to day technology changes. The rate at which this phenomenon is happening is both amazing and frightening. As an educator it is my responsibility to do my best to keep up with modern technology.
My professional technology plan begins with my attitude. I commit to remaining open minded and motivated to try any new technology that will benefit my students. It is easy to get frustrated or feel ill equipped to take on some of the current trends in technology. I feel it is important to call on fellow teachers with all levels of experience for technological guidance and support.
At a time when most districts are financially distraught, many professional development opportunities are being been cut to save money. Technology professional development opportunities are non-existent in many districts. So what can educators do when the districts they work for do not provide technology professional development? Teachers and all other support staff have to see each other as valuable resources. Each staff member possesses specialized knowledge about something. Many have high skill levels regarding technology. I plan to develop a monthly technology share where staff members are encouraged to show or teach a technology component they are currently using or have used in the past. Community members could also be involved in this initiative. For example, my brother is very familiar with Garage Band http://www.apple.com/ilife/garageband/. He would be more than happy to come in for an afternoon and teach our staff how to use the program. Most importantly the staff would be encouraged to take what they learn from these technology workshops and apply them in the classroom.
Additionally, I plan to use more things in the classroom that I use at home. Some examples include photo shop and graphics tablets. I am in the process of purchasing a graphics tablet. Many of the visuals I provide during instruction are my own creations. By digitalizing my sketches, I will be able to use them over and over again. At first I was thinking that my personal use of the graphics tablet would benefit students purely based on the images I would be creating using the device. Now I realize that my knowledge of how to use the device is a gift in itself that I can give to my students. I plan to teach students how to use a graphics tablet to assist them as they complete projects. In addition I have considered writing a grant to acquire a set of tablets for the school.
In conclusion, being an educator today comes with the heavy responsibility of preparing students to survive in a highly technological world. There is no longer a question of if technology should be part of the curriculum. Technology has to be seamlessly integrated into almost everything we do throughout the school day. When students walk out of school at the end of the day they are thrust into a world laden with technology. It only makes sense to provide the same and in many ways better opportunities to utilize technology during the school day.
Some WONDERFUL professional websites for teachers interested in technology…….