There's no shortage of great assistive technology for educators, but school districts everywhere live with a drastic shortage of the time, funding, and technical infrastructure to make new tools work.
Administrators can't afford to make purchases of technology that might just go to waste and teachers can't afford the time to learn a new set of complex operations on top of all their other responsibilities.
The answer to creating a better learning environment for the next generation of tech-savvy students is to start from the teacher's perspective. Before introducing anything new, take a good look at what have been the top barriers to the adoption in the past and what has to change.
The 4 Baselines to New Technology Adoption
Here are four baseline thresholds that any in-classroom enhancement must meet:
A) It has to be intuitive and engaging.
This is a bit of a strange criteria because you have no way of knowing how each individual teacher thinks or feels about the technology. The rule here is: The simpler the better. Teachers everywhere quickly adopted Google Docs and Chromebooks for the same reason. They are low to no cost and they just work without a bunch of instructions. Google spent a great deal of time and money to create a piece of software that is essentially just a blank page. Simple. An interactive whiteboard in the classroom should be just that simple. Just plug it in and download any app the teacher might need that day. That's not wishful thinking, it's a reality.
B) There has to be instant support available.
No device is perfect, but teachers don't have the luxury of technology challenges in the middle of a lesson. Once a teacher loses their attention, learning stops cold. Teachers tend to think fast on their feet and have plenty of backup plans in place, but they are also less likely to adopt a technology they can't rely on to work on the fly. The Screen Skills Guru program is like nothing else in the world of audio-visual IT (AVIT). OneScreen offers teachers all the free, live help they need by phone, videoconference or chat for any of their smart screens. Teachers and administrators can also set up unlimited, free training sessions that fit into their demanding schedules.
C) It has to help teachers meet Common Core standards and learning objectives.
Plans come and go but standards accumulate. Common Core tends to get all the attention in the press, but teachers have to be certain they can meet state and local standards as well. Then there are considerations around grade-level objectives, learner development, content knowledge, assessment, lesson plans, instructional strategies and more. There is absolutely no room for classroom technology that doesn't help teachers handle multiple standards at the same time. OneScreen has worked with educators to design the kind of technology teachers need to do more for their students in less time, including building in thousands of lesson plans and educational content using state-based core curriculum. Tools such as annotation and screen sharing free up classroom time for teachers while back end usage analytics prove out the value of the smart screens for administrators.
D) It has to motivate students.
There's an ancient saying that goes, "You can't teach anyone anything. All you can do is make them want to learn." In the drive to engage, motivate and inspire students, technology can help teachers with the heavy lifting as long as students don't consider the devices too distracting, intimidating, or out-of-date to help them stay on task. The ideal is something that is practical, touchable, and always-new, like the OneScreen Touchscreen which excels in all three. Students can immediately begin solving problems together on the smart screen, the 20-touch capable screen is extremely hands-on, and it comes with Google Play access so there are always new apps to take learning further.
The Writing on the Wall
Both administrators and teachers are under pressure to produce results on a tight budget. Technology has always been the answer for doing more with less. Try a free demo of any OneScreen smart screen to find out exactly how much more your school could be doing with technology that's available now.