Using education technology in the classroom, from mobile learning with devices like tablets and mobile phones, to online quizzes, educational videos, collaborative learning resources and more, is a brilliant way for teachers to engage students and enhance the curriculum. But every now and then, for a variety of reasons, even edtech classrooms need a spruce up, or even a break from technology altogether.

We’re now at the stage where, for some teachers, technology has been a major feature of classroom learning for over 10, or even 20 years, and many may have fallen into a groove of tried and tested techniques and tools that haven’t been reassessed or recalibrated for some time. It’s easy to feel like education technology naturally makes any classroom a lively, cutting-edge environment, but it’s just as important to regroup and reconsider edtech learning materials over time as it is to shake up more traditional learning methods, by buying new text books, or considering a new teaching model. Here are 5 signs it might be time to recalibrate your roster of education technology tools…

 

1. You already know exactly how the Twitter #EdChat is going to go…

Twitter chats are a brilliant way for educators to engage and share tips and techniques, so this is a little tongue-in-cheek! But sometimes you can get too comfortable sharing ideas with the same network of people. When you start to anticipate exactly who is going to raise the question of cost and whether an option is sustainable for large-scale roll out, who is going to chip in with personal experience and reassurances of fantastic learning outcomes, and who is going to take the discussion back to academic educational theory…. it’s time for a break! Try a new Twitter chat, like #ELTchat or #CPchat and get a whole new perspective from a fresh group of educators!

 

2. Your students have found a workaround for your firewall settings…

School systems are designed to keep students safe, and some clever programs enable teachers to ensure students aren’t cheekily surfing the web or checking their Facebook profiles while they’re supposed to be participating in an online exercise. But leave your tools unchecked for too long and the digital generation will have found a YouTube video tutorial to run rings around your security settings and logged into a pinball website before you know it! There are plenty of online tutorials and instructions to help you make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest tools.

 

3. You miss real frogs…

There is an incredible edtech replacement for almost every practical classroom activity, from drawing and painting to dissecting frogs! But if you find yourself sighing for the good old days of pins and formaldehyde, it might be a sign that just occasionally, digital doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better’. Don’t be afraid to ring the changes and mix up older techniques with edtech support. Using tech in the classroom doesn’t have to mean replacing every single exercise with an online equivalent.

 

4. Every bookmark on your computer begins with ‘ed’…

From Edmodo to Edutopia, the internet is awash with brilliant multi-purpose sites promising educators resources and organisational tools, diaries and planners and grade books all in one all-purpose solution. But if you find yourself using too many of these wonder sites, they can become more time-consuming than time-effective. The old-fashioned teachers’ grade book remains a trusty companion… don’t be afraid to take it back and say all is forgiven!

 

5. You’ve found a new #EdTech resource before @Web20Classroom@CoolCatTeacher, or @NMHS_Principal has even mentioned it…

Yes, you have essentially (for an edtech enthusiast at least) won the internet. But is it really worth the constant effort of trawling through websites and blogs, resource lists and endless ‘edtech dailies’? That’s what these edtech leaders are there for after all! Relax and let them uncover the best new tools for you. Maybe go outside, have a cup of coffee… remember what fresh air smells like!

 

Have you suffered from EdTech fatigue? Let us know how you have coped in the comments below!

 

Image courtesy of Flickr, Aaron Jacobs.

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