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What sets a device or laptop apart from other classroom technologies is in whose hand it belongs. Teachers often feel as though they have too much to do, are overwhelmed, and can’t have one more thing added to their plate. Well, this isn’t one more thing for YOU to have to do. Give it to the students. YOU don’t have to be the App Master. YOU don’t have to App Smash like a boss. YOU don’t even have to create the content or pick the apps. Give up a little control, restructure your class, and foster an environment of creativity and innovation where YOU aren’t the sole technology user.

Here’s my list of Dos and Don’ts for teachers ready to empower students:

Focus on a handful of apps…Don’t waste time in the App Store

Searching content in the app store is daunting. Don’t go there yet. Start here with free apps that can be applied as effectively in Kindergarten as they are in AP Chemistry. It’s about all students, explaining what they’ve learned, in their own words, in their own way.

Put the tech in the students’ hands…Don’t feel like you have to know it all

Set the expectations, then get out of the way. It’s not about how well you use the technology. It’s not even about the technology anyway.

Address the behavior…Don’t discipline the technology

The behaviors haven’t changed. Off task or inappropriate behavior is off task or inappropriate behavior. Set expectations and enforce consequences without removing the instructional device.

Explore daily tech integration…Don’t only do culminating projects

The camera and camera roll is the most powerful app for student demonstration of learning. Not everything has to have a rubric nor does it have to be graded. It can be as simple as solve the problem on the board and show your work using Popplet.

Redesign your space for proximity…Don’t have row seating

A digital classroom should look different than a traditional one. It involves restructuring the entire teaching and learning atmosphere.

Provide 24/7 access to content…Don’t be afraid to publish yourself

It’s out of your comfort zone. You’re opening yourself up for criticism. No one likes to hear their own voice. Until… you see a student take responsibility for their learning and rewatch your video on their own. Then, nothing else matters.

Surprise yourself and have fun…Don’t be afraid to try something new

Steal! The best teachers share. Show a great teacher something you’ve done in the past and ask for a new idea.

Empower them to learn without you…Don’t underestimate your students

There are experts out there waiting to share knowledge with your students. Why cap their curiosity?

Infograph – Dos and Donts

About The Author

Tiffaney Lavoie currently serves as the Director of Instructional Media and Design at Edvergent Learning. An educator with a business background, she has served over 60 school districts in Kentucky as an instructional technology consultant where she developed and delivered professional learning opportunities and partnered with school and district technology rollouts. A former middle school teacher, Tiffaney has a passion for effective technology integration and recognizes the importance of accessible digital tools to support teaching and learning. She has presented on a state, regional, and national level, and values immersive digital learning environments that better equip students to compete in a global society.