As a technology specialist, I work with many teachers and students throughout the year. I always enjoy collaborating with teachers, but I wish they’d ask me more questions about integrating new tools and strategies into their lessons.
If your school has a technology director, coach, or specialist, here are the three questions you should ask them.
1. Can you help me?
This is a simple question—but it can be a challenging one. Teachers often think they need to know everything, but that just isn’t true. (It’s also impossible.) Asking for help can help you add new tools to your arsenal or identify areas that could use a little improvement. You can even breathe new life into an old lesson by getting an opinion on the best way to integrate technology or just bouncing your ideas off someone else.
Tech specialists often attend conferences on educational technology to help us stay current on resources and ideas. Don’t let us hoard this information, because we don’t want to—instead, ask your specialist what they’ve learned about lately that could help your classroom.
Your tech specialist can create a Remind class to share new tools, resources, and ideas with team members.
2. Would you like to co-teach a lesson?
Your tech specialist probably holds an education degree, which means they’ve taught students at one point or another. A great way to model learning and observe new strategies is to co-teach a lesson together.
When I co-teach, the teacher is the leader of the lesson—but I add support so they can feel confident using a new tool. This is also a great way for tech specialists to get a frontline perspective about the barriers that a classroom teacher might encounter when using technology in school.
Get your class excited about your special guest for the day—send them messages and images to hype up the lesson.
3. How much time and support will I receive?
New initiatives and devices often fail because they aren’t implemented correctly or given the chance to succeed. For me, the best way to hook teachers on something new is to provide time and support. Just because a tool is shiny and new doesn’t mean that engaged learning will automatically follow.
Your tech specialist might also offer teacher training. When you have access to ongoing training and time to explore new resources, powerful things can happen.
Your tech specialist can set office hours on Remind to create a designated time for questions and answers.
Not every school has an official technology lead, but everyone knows a teacher who’s enthusiastic about technology. The next time you run into them, try asking these questions—you’ll be surprised by how much they’ll want to share.
You can also find many technology specialists on Twitter, including Alec Couros, Richard Byrne, Shelly Terrell, and Steven Anderson. These educators all share great ideas that you can use in your classroom. You’re also more than welcome to ask me for ideas. We’re all working for our students, so let’s make their education the best it can be!