Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 4:15pm
We all know the speed at which technology changes. How many of us have bought something with all the latest and greatest features, only to find out a month later that there is something even better with supercharged gizmos, that makes the thing you just bought seem outdated? Technology marches forward, unyielding, at a pace that appears frenzied in juxtaposition to human development.
So how do you keep up with it? And especially as educators, how do you incorporate technology into your districts, schools, and classrooms?
There is a wealth of information out there on education technology (edtech). You don't have to do much to find out what is going on, and what important information you should be thinking about with regard to your curriculum. There are just a few simple things you can do to keep a finger of the pulse of edtech.
Six Simple Steps to Follow:
- Subscribe to an edtech company's or organization's newsletters and blogs. If you subscribe, they'll send you all the latest and greatest developments right to your email inbox. To find companies and organizations, just enter edtech providers or education technology companies into your browsers search area. Don't be afraid to click through several pages of results to find the best companies and organizations—not all show up on the first page of results!
- Create a google alert for edtech and education technology. Google has a helpful feature that alerts you every time there is a new development with regard to a certain keyword or keywords. Type in google alerts into your browser to find out how to set these up. Some other keywords to consider setting up google alerts for might be "online learning," "blended learning," or "personalized learning."
- Follow edtech social media influencers. Take a few moments to follow important edtech trendsetters on social media. These can be individuals who curate content about edtech, or companies and organizations who are big names in education technology. How do you find them? Do a search in your social media providers search bar. Go ahead and type in edtech and/or educational technology. The social media network should serve up some best matches to your query. Follow entities who have interesting posts. Do this search once a week for a few weeks and you'll have a great list of edtech leaders you are following.
- Participate in an edtech twitter chat. Twitter chats are conversations that take place on a specific topic on a specific day and at a specific time. Participants in the chat use a #hashtag specific to that topic, which allows for a search to be conducted on the topic even after the chat has ended. Chats occur daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly, and are generally an hour in length. How do I find an edtech twitter chat? Enter in "edtech twitter chat" in your browser's search bar and you'll be amazed at the resources that list twitter chats.
- Join an edtech webinar or in-person workshop. Edtech curriculum providers or edtech organizations are a great source for finding low-cost or free webinars and workshops you can join. For instance, Fuel Education frequently has webinars on new edtech classroom solutions and a great series of in-person Blended Learning Leaders Forums coming to a location near you! To stay informed of these opportunities, make sure you have followed the advice above in step 1.
- Attend conferences that encourage edtech tracks. We all need continuing education to keep on top of the latest best practices and trends in education—why not pick a conference to attend that has a history of including education technology sessions in their conference program? Search old programs from recent years by typing the name of a conference you want to attend in your browsers search bar. Most likely, the recent program will be posted and you can see what kinds of sessions the conference committee selects.