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4 modern tech skills every teacher should have

CareerBuilder | October 25, 2016

tech savvy teachers improve the learning experience

With the ever-changing technology landscape, teachers need to keep up. Not only are the lessons changing, but so are the tools that teachers use to present them. Gone are the days of chalkboards and paper notes; today's instructors use iPads and interactive media. Here are a few modern tech skills that teachers should embrace — or risk their students falling behind.

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Social Media

Modern teaches are embracing the tools that students use to communicate with each other. While they used to limit their communication to paper notes home and messages on the whiteboard, today's instructors have websites and blogs that they regularly update with images and notes on assignments.

Many teachers have also started using social media as a tool for reminders. They tweet assignments and post in Facebook groups so they're sure students see them and also make the content visible to parents. This way there's no excuse for not remembering the homework, as students just have to check their social feeds.

Programming Basics

Many teachers are including programming for their students, not just as a language that can be used in their careers, but as a tool for logical thinking. There are games like Ozobot and Tynker that get kids involved with bright colors and interactive characters. They don't realize they're learning programming languages and simply think they're playing a cool game.

By learning to think logically, students are able to come up with multiple solutions for problems and approach challenges from multiple perspectives. This is a great skill to have throughout their careers, whether they enter a STEM field or not.

Cloud Storage and File Sharing

Today's students are collaborators. They can work together on Google Docs or Presentations to create something amazing without worrying about saving over each other. They can also share presentations with teachers digitally instead of printing them out. In fact, many teachers utilize or other plagiarism checkers, mandating a digital turn-in.

However, file-sharing goes both ways. Teachers can share notes with absent students, send follow-up materials home with students, and create a resource hub through file storage tools. Whether they're taking advantage of Google Drive or using DropBox, digital file-sharing is a key skill for instructors.

Digital Research and Source Checking

While the library continues to be an important part of the education experience, more students are turning to the internet when it comes to writing papers or completing projects. If students are going to use the internet, teachers need to show them how to find reliable sources. This includes searching through Google Books and articles in Google Scholar, along with vetting blogs and website for reliability. Without this information, more students will end up citing Wikipedia as their main resource material.

These are a few skills that teachers can hone to improve the classroom experience, but don't stop here. Smart teachers will work with their peers and innovators to find new ways to connect with young minds. Technology is going to continually evolve, which means instructors need to as well.

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