How to Become an EdTech Expert
I’ve been there: Bored. Annoyed by the lack of challenge that I was feeling in my career as a teacher.
I’ve also been here: Frustrated. Struggling with the fact that all students want to do with technology is play and consume.
But, that all changed when I decided to become an expert by learning all that I could about certain pieces of educational technology. For me, it was Seesaw Learning Journal and G Suite for Education Tools, but your mind would be blown by all of the opportunities there are to become an expert in even more platforms that you and your students use each and every day.
Now you quit that… I hear that negative self-talk you’re wrestling with right now:
“Are you kidding me? You can’t even remember where you put your keys… expert in an edtech tool? (Scoff)”
“Who the heck am I to call myself an expert? I don’t know squat about anything.”
“There’s too much to do. I don’t have time.”
Well, guess what… even ‘experts’ feel like imposters, fakers, and lack the time needed to learn new things.
Trust me… I know one really well. ;)
We all have short-falls, excuses, and even more obstacles when considering all that there is to do every week, day, and minute when you’re an educator, but, the bottom line is…
“If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.” - Joe Paterno
When we begin to fall into daily routines that are less than stimulating, do the bare-minimum, and don’t use our full potential, that’s where either Worn-Out or Under-Challenged Burnout can creep in.
Here are some ideas on how to become an edtech expert:
Find your passion
Is your favorite time of day teaching reading or writing? Then consider an app or website that you’ve used in the past and decide how you can a) use it more often b)use it in a new way c)show other teachers how they can use it and love it too.
consider your needs
Short on time (aren’t we all)? Then master a productivity tool like Trello, Google Keep, or Google Calendar to help you become the most punctual, productive, and organized teacher you’ve ever been. Then, teach other teachers your secrets.
Get a badge
I’ll be really honest here. The only reason I wanted to become Google Certified and become a Seesaw Ambassador was to GET ME SOME BADGES. Here’s the thing… adults and kids are no different when it comes to enjoying a little pat on the back and having a little something to show off to their friends and family that shows they went out of their way to learn something new or accomplish a new goal. Don’t fight it… you know you want one.
Here are just a few educational technology tools that offer badges for going through training and learning how to use their tools to serve students and teach others:
Seesaw Learning Journal - Seesaw Ambassador
G Suite for Education Tools - Level 1 and 2 Google Certified Educator
Flipgrid - Flipgrid Certified Educator
Showbie - Showbie Champion
GoNoodle - GoNoodle Ambassador
Apple - Certified Apple Teacher
+ so many more! If you use an edtech platform regularly, there is probably a way to become an expert and get recognized for it.
Not into badges? Not a problem. DO YOUR THING ANYWAY!
Here’s the thing… you can also bring the love of recognition by using badges into your own classroom! There are a lot of platforms out there to help you create your own badges for your students as they move through units of study, cross milestones in their learning, and master tough standards throughout the year. Simply search the term “resources for creating badges in your classroom” and BOOM! you’ll be offered many different places that can either teach you to make your own, or print some that have already been made.
You can also create your own badges for or with your students in Google Slides or Drawings and print them out or make them digital.
Speaking of Badges…
You can earn badges from ME if you decide that you want to learn more about Google tools and how to use them to help your students create more and for yourself to become a more productive, engaging, and organized teacher. Check out THIS BLOG POST explaining…