Introduction

Matt Rhoads

New teachers experience many stressors in navigating the education profession, early on. Educators juggle learning classroom management strategies, writing effective lesson plans, instituting instructional strategies and collaborating with master teachers and education professors. Teachers’ roles also include utilizing technology tools in the classroom and developing as professionals.

As educators working to prepare students for 21st-century workplaces and being contributors in their local communities, it is vital to use technology. These types of educational tools will help early in your career, as well as throughout your growth within your profession. Cultivating these skills is especially important when it comes to being hired for your first full time teaching position. Districts around the country are looking at digital literacy as a component new teachers must have to be successful. Without knowledge of educational technology, it may be difficult to attain your first full-time teaching position. Therefore, it is critical that preservice teachers are proficient in these tools before being interviewed for permanent full time teaching positions.

The authors of Igniting Your Teaching with Educational Technology are here to reduce the stress of learning how to use technology in the first few years of teaching. As fellow educators, we understand the challenges you may experience and have written this textbook to support you in your learning. Ultimately, we want you to be to navigate the waters of educational technology without it becoming an additional burden on top of everything else on your plate as a preservice or first-year teacher. We have over one-hundred years of combined, total teaching experience, in various capacities, grade levels, and content areas.

Overview

Igniting Your Teaching with Educational Technology addresses six core themes that are of great significance when using technology in one’s teaching. Below is an overview of the contents of each chapter of the book.

  • Chapter 1: Classroom Management explores classroom management tools for classrooms of all ages of students.
  • Chapter 2: Learning Management Systems discusses learning management systems that are likely to be central in your student teaching experience and as a first-year teacher.
  • Chapter 3: Assessing Learning addresses measuring student learning using technology, using both formative and summative approaches.
  • Chapter 4: Collaboration Tools outlines tools you can utilize with your students as well as your colleagues and professors to contribute to the creation of a resource together.
  • Chapter 5: Selection of Educational Technology describes how preservice teachers can select technological tools and applications for various experiences and situations they may encounter as teachers.
  • Chapter 6: Professional Development via Social Media provides information regarding how to use social media to network with other teachers as well as to grow professionally as an educator.

How to Use this Textbook

This book was written by experienced educators who provide both research-based resources on these vital topics, but also share their personal experience in using these tools. The book is designed such that you can reference a chapter of particular interest, or read it from cover-to-cover. Once you feel like you have familiarized yourself with the tools discussed in this textbook, we recommend checking out our accompanying site http://ignitingwithtech.wordpress.com for links, videos, and other resources to help continue your learning.

Before you Begin Reading

As you move through this textbook, think about how each of the tools outlined in the following chapters can be applied to your classroom to enhance your teaching. In addition, think about creative and innovative ways these tools can be used. While we provide examples of each of these tools, your classroom and the challenges you face are unique to you as an educator. Therefore, think critically while implementing each piece of technology you select, ensuring that it aligns with your teaching philosophy and values. Discover where your imagination may take you as you begin Igniting Your Teaching with Educational Technology.