“According to SAM Labs, 82% of teachers say that students who use technology in the classroom are better prepared for their careers. However, 78% of teachers still say that they haven’t received enough training on teaching with technology.”
After a long summer, one of the best ways to set your teachers up for a successful school year is by hosting back-to-school training. Three Indiana K-12 school districts, Barr-Reeve, Washington Community, and Pike County convene to host The Suite Life eLearning Day, a training day that focuses on technology.
Below are five takeaways that we gleaned from their training to ensure teachers enter the school year confident and knowledgeable.
Focus on Learning Outcomes
In order to encourage teacher buy-in, the primary focus of technology trainings should begin with goal-oriented learning outcomes, not features and functionality. Encourage teachers to ask themselves, “What problems do I face in the classroom? What are the desired student outcomes?” Once identified and established, introduce technology into the conversation by explaining how digital tools help solve problems and enhance or improve the classroom learning experience.
Give Participants Choices
Similar to a classroom full of students, educators possess different learning styles and levels of subject-matter expertise. Make back-to-school training relevant for teachers by providing them with multiple learning opportunities and sessions to choose from. This way educators have the power to customize their own schedule and attend the training sessions that are most necessary for their professional development.
Encourage Peer-to-Peer Collaboration
Although certain trainings might require vendor or tech-specialist presenters, be sure to incorporate sessions that are led by teachers. These sessions encourage peer-to-peer collaboration, allowing teachers to easily use each other as a resource for help, ideas, and inspiration. By sharing perspective and understanding, teachers can help fellow teachers continue to grow their use of technology in the classroom.
Make It Hands On
A great way to keep teachers engaged is to host less lecture-style and more hands-on trainings. At The Suite Life event, the keynote speaker invited teachers to participate in an interactive presentation on their phones. As a result of being more engaged, the audience followed along and asked relevant, targeted, and detailed questions about how to apply that technology into their classrooms.
Incentivize Participation and Learning
Drive event attendance and increase engagement by rewarding your teachers for making the effort to participate in your back-to-school training day. Create a door prize raffle system, and incentivize attendants with tickets every time they attend sessions, ask questions, and partake in hands-on trainings. Rewarding teachers for embracing digital learning increases buy-in and will ultimately help them prepare students for the 21st century work environment.