14 tips for NQTS who want to teach with tech

Pete Atherton

Friday, 1 February 2019

Ever worried about how you will be able to use technology in the classroom as you start your first teaching job?

Do you struggle with how to make a start with edtech? Are you concerned that learning new technologies will add to your workload?


We select 14 tips for NQTS who want to teach with tech. The first section is a selection of edtech tools and platforms. The second part explores attitudes and behaviours that will help you develop your tech repertoire.

Choose the right tech

1. Use tools that save you time

Whether it’s Padlet to store your multimedia resources or Google Docs to organise your Word files, you should look for tech that is easy to use and actually saves you time. Ask your students to work collaboratively but ensure that you can still understand their individual progress.

2. Use video but make sure it helps the students learn

From the 1990s until very recently, teachers thought that showing an informative video was an effective teaching aid. Since then, students are less inclined to view videos as a whole class and lack the attention span for videos longer than a few minutes.

One solution to this is using platforms like EDpuzzle. EDpuzzle stops the video automatically so the students can answer questions that the teacher has created.


Inforgraphic 1
3. Don’t be scared of social media

Your school may have a blanket ban on mobile phones, they may allow pupils to use their phones for research. However conservative or liberal the policy, the pupils will certainly use social media extensively. If you need to know how teachers can use social media successfully, start by searching for #teachers and relevant Twitter lists. Consider approaching your managers about setting up a closed Facebook group for giving feedback and posting important updates - sometimes live.

4. Don’t rely on your old PowerPoints

When you were training, you may have deployed PowerPoint as a text-heavy safety blanket framework for your lessons. Now use it to be counter-intuitive or disruptive, to stimulate debate, reinforce or dramatise ideas, juxtapose images or concepts; use Google Slides to collaborate or assess.

5. Poll

Poll Everywhere is an efficient way to conduct diagnostic tests, highlight misconceptions or capture students’ opinions.

6. Podcast

The significant growth in podcasting is the product of a culture that is time-poor but information-hungry. If you can afford a decent microphone, you can use free audio editing like Audacity and platforms like Podbean or Libsyn your students build independence and problem-solving and maybe even become a niche celebrity yourself...

7. Write books

Book Creator provides the opportunity for students to make a book of any kind. This book could be a novella, a collection of multimedia short stories, a poetry anthology, an illustrated diary, a revision guide - it is limited only by your imagination. The students can even offer their publications for sale.

8. Ask the students to present

It’s not about you, standing in front of the class anymore. Place greater emphasis on what the students need to produce, how they are going to get there and what support they might need through scaffolding and feedback.

Use Canva to enable students to create professional, collaborative info-graphics, social media posts, letters, posters, ads and much more. Presenting can also mean curating their work and their peers’.

Inforgraphic 2 

 9. Use edtech to assess

If you are not hostile to the tech giants, consider providing live feedback in G-Suite or Microsoft Teams. Try online assessment tools like Goformative, Spiral or Nearpod. Suggest a supported experiment with a colleague, so you can help each other and share your own good practice.

Change the way you think

10. Stay curious

Think, ‘what if?’ and ‘why not?’ The more you are open to new ideas, the more your thinking will be aligned with your students’. Almost everything is new to them.

11. Chronicle your journey and embrace your mistakes

Make a diary or write a blog. It is immensely satisfying to remind yourself of the progress that you have made over a short space of time. It is also liberating to accept that you are and will always be a work in progress.

12. Learn something that makes you feel stupid for not getting it right

That’s how your students feel every day in at least one of their lessons. If you push yourself outside your comfort zone in this way, it will make you a better teacher.

13. Embrace the power of ‘yet’

Without wishing to sound like a ‘growth mindset’ evangelist, try to embrace the notion that anything you can’t do now, you can’t do, yet.

14. Ensure that you think of the learning first and the tech second

Digital technologies have been around for decades, pedagogy has been around for millennia.

Follow these tips and you’ll fall in love with teaching with tech…

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About our Community Expert

PeteAtherton_BlueCircle

Pete Atherton
Community Expert

Pete Atherton is a passionate, skilled and committed educator.

He has been a teacher and consultant for over 20 years and is now a lead Tutor at LJMU and Edge Hill University. He is also a published author and acclaimed ed-tech visionary.

Pete leads the NQT-focused content on the Opogo Hub and continues to curate the course material for our up and coming NQT academy course.

LINE_divide


About our Community Expert

PeteAtherton_BlueCircle

Pete Atherton
Community Expert

Pete Atherton is a passionate, skilled and committed educator.

He has been a teacher and consultant for over 20 years and is now a lead Tutor at LJMU and Edge Hill University. He is also a published author and acclaimed ed-tech visionary.

Pete leads the NQT-focused content on the Opogo Hub and continues to curate the course material for our up and coming NQT academy course.

Opogo is a community platform designed to help schools attract and retain the talent that’s right for them. Our social hub is packed with rich content from our community experts. And through our ever-evolving Smart Match technology, teachers can be booked for work simply and quickly.

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