#DojoChatEU – Technology in the Classroom

I managed to attend a second #DojoChatEU in a row last week, moderated by Ciara Brennan on the subject of Technology in the Classroom. Ciara asked several questions on the topic and I thought it might be a good idea to summarise my own feelings as well as other in the chat. You can read all the tweets on Jenna Kleine’s Chirpify Account.

Question 1: Why do you think some teachers still find technology a hindrance more than a help?

This was a really good question to start things off. As much as we’d like to think technology is as natural as pen and paper, some teachers still regard it with suspicion and, sometimes, contempt. Is technology another thing we have to do?, one would have heard publicly a few years ago. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier (and it does) but it does need maintaining and when things go wrong (and they do) it can make teachers angry. I also suspect some teachers don’t like their pupils knowing more than they do. What can we do about it? I don’t know the answer to this but I suspect, in time, technology will become a natural part of the teaching day. I just hope it gets there a lot quicker than it is!

Question 2: Limited funds/resources are a problem. What are your top tips for getting the most from limited tech resources?

Continuing to grasp the nettles, Ciara asks for solutions to the issue of money. In fact the first two questions really tackle the two big obstacles – the 2 M’s – Money and Mindset. Money is important, naturally, but we can do a lot with the little we have. A teacher’s own Smartphone opens up thousands of possibilities with photos, videos and audio. Even one laptop in a room can offer an extensive array of activities. However, it is probably unforgivable in the 21st century to have school without reasonable Internet access or even a reasonable network structure. Once one has a working piece of technology and Internet access, almost everything is possible.

Question 3: Should there be a curriculum for IT/Tech or should it be ad-hoc?

For me, the answer I would give is neither. I certainly think a technology curriculum is a very bad idea. I have seen the effects of this in the UK whereby disinterested teachers suck the potential creative powers that technology can bring and end up following a dull step-through process, with everyone coming up with the same or similar results. However, I don’t think technology should be ad-hoc either. What we need to do is plan for technology to complement what we do in the curriculum. If we go off-script to an ad-hoc place sometimes, that’s ok too but we do need some sort of plan.

Question 4: What are your top (free!) tech resources you use in your classroom?

This question always frightens me because there is so much out there and for different reasons. I have to mention ClassDojo (not because of my association but because it’s brilliant) and I also have to mention Google Apps for Education. Evernote is something I’m liking more everyday and then we have Padlet and many others. I’d recommend looking through the Chirpify page as there’s some great ideas there.

Question 5: What advice would you give someone who is hesitant to incorporate tech in his/her classroom?

This is a great question. It’s also a tough one. I think if you can get an opportunity to model lessons incorporating ICT, that would be great but this isn’t really an option in most schools. However, teachers do talk at break times and we’re very good magpies so if something is working really well, it’s amazing how quickly it spreads. I don’t think we can force the reluctant teachers to use ICT, we just have to do really cool stuff so these teachers can’t help but want to steal the ideas from us!

Question 6: How can we ensure the use of tech is as meaningful as possible for our students?

For me, this is simple: it needs to link in with what the students are learning. Technology doesn’t work in isolation. It’s a tool, a resource, a methodology. We need to use it to its strengths and the magic happens.

Question 7: What are your top ways to use tech for positive classroom management?

Well, there’s only one answer to this question. ClassDojo.

Comments (10)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe without commenting

Related Posts

Empathy and ClassDojo

ClassDojo are currently running a fantastic series on empathy and it got me thinking about

ClassDojo Cartoons

I discovered something new on the ClassDojo website today - a whole bunch of

#dojoChatEU: Learning from mistakes in the classroom

Every week, I delve through ClassDojo's Twitter chat and answer the questions that were

#dojoChatEU: Fostering Positive Relationships

Every week I answer the questions posed in ClassDojo's weekly chat, #dojoChatEU. It happens every

#dojochatEU: Peer learning

Every week I take the questions from ClassDojo's weekly chat on Twitter, #dojochatEU. This

#dojochatEU: Has technology a place in education?

Every week I respond to the ClassDojo #dojochatEU Twitter conversation, which happens every Wednesday

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 10.57.22 AM
ClassDojo and Principals

ClassDojo have just released a way for principals and other school leaders to get

#DojoChatEU: New Year’s Resolutions

Every week, ClassDojo run a Twitter chat on a Wednesday evening. After a nice winter

ClassDojo Comes to Ireland

For all you ClassDojo users out there, the people behind ClassDojo are coming to

#dojoChatEU – Reimagine Learning

This week's #dojoChatEU was titled Reimagine Learning, the theme of BETT 2016. The chat organised

#DojoChatEU – Collaborative Learning

Every week, I write a post based on ClassDojo's regular Twitter chat on Wednesday

#dojoChatEU: Breaking down the classroom wall

Every week I look at the ClassDojo chat and answer the various questions on

#dojoChatEU – Global Issues and Topical Events

Every week I summarise the #classDojoEU conversation on Twitter with my own thoughts on the

#dojochatEU: Growth Mindset

Every week, I try to tune in to ClassDojo's weekly chat on Twitter. I

#ClassDojoEU: Resilience

This week was the first time in ages that I was able to take

#dojoChatEU: Future-Proofing our Learners

This week's ClassDojo chat was called Future Proofing our Learners. As usual, I'll be

ClassDojo Chat: Work/Life Balance

Every week, ClassDojo have a chat on Twitter under the hashtag #dojochateu. The chat

ClassStory1200x (1)
5 Ways to use ClassDojo’s ClassStory

ClassDojo, everyone's favourite behaviour tracker, has released a new feature for the start of

ClassDojo releases ClassStory

As many teachers know, parents can log into their child's ClassDojo account and see

Groups Come to ClassDojo

ClassDojo are releasing a number of updates over the summer. For teachers in Ireland,

#DojoChatEU Transition Days

This week's DojoChatEU was called Transition Days and focused on moving from one class

#DojochatEU – Developing a PLN

#DojochatEU is a Twitter hashtag for an event that happens every Wednesday from 8:30pm

A ClassDojo Shop

Lots of classrooms are using ClassDojo as a behaviour management tool and it's great

ClassDojo Ambassador

I have been aware of ClassDojo for a number of years and nominated the