Home Digital Literacy Helping Students Ramp Up Their Tech Skills

Helping Students Ramp Up Their Tech Skills

by Lori Gracey
tech skills

You’ve heard the talk about digital natives, about how this generation of students who were born with technology in their mouths know everything there is to know about devices and software. You’ve heard that they don’t really need any practice in using tech because it’s embedded in their chromosomes somehow. What you may not have heard is that is all just a bunch of hooey.

The Facts About “Digital Natives”

As EdTech Digest reports, “They use it a lot, to be sure, but their range is quite narrow, and not very deep. They’re okay at the basics (email, texting, surfing the internet, etc.), but when it comes to using technology to learn, it’s mostly passive consumption of information.” The EU Kids Online Report found that “… only one in five [children studied] used a file-sharing site or created a pet/avatar, and half that number wrote a blog … While social networking makes it easier to upload content, most children use the internet for ready-made, mass-produced content.” And a survey from the Pew Research Center found that children probably know a lot about social media and usage convention, but are unaware of the difference between the internet and “World Wide Web” or what Net Neutrality means.

What that all means is that it is even more important today to teach students how and when to use technology than it has ever been. And that’s not something that can be left to the “tech teacher.” For most students, there is no technology teacher for them until high school. That’s way too late to learn best practices in hardware and software use.

How Prepared Are You to Teach Tech Skills?

With that in mind, how ready are you, regardless of the subject or grade level you teach, to show kids the best uses of technology? If the honest answer is “not so prepared,” then consider attending the Technology Acceleration Academy this summer. Held July 25-26 in Austin, the academy is a hands-on answer to teaching today’s students. Led by accomplished educators from around the state, participants will gain great expertise in both their own use of tech and in helping students use Adobe, Apple, Google, and Microsoft software and devices. Bring your own device and practice the skills that are shown, ensuring that you leave with all of the knowledge and skills that you will need to prepare your students for future careers.

Registration is just $239 for both days and includes lunch and a complimentary membership in TCEA for one year, which will help you to continue to hone your skills. Check out all of the great sessions available here. A few of them include:

  • Solving Problems Together – Looking for projects and ideas that will get your entire class engaged and working together? Then facilitating G Suite-based collaborative projects is for you. Explore technology in the context of problem-based learning (PBL).
  • Global Communication and Collaboration – Challenge yourself to use apps such as Flipgrid, Skype, Google Hang Outs, and Zoom. Experience real-world examples of how students can create connections with different cultures to develop a better understanding of our world.
  • Show What You Know Using an iPad – Bring your iPad and prepare for an interactive, hands-on session that will get students sharing and showing what they’ve learned, and how to apply it. You’ll leave with resources for your classroom.
  • Keeping Your Students Active and Engaged in a Google Classroom – Learn how to ensure that your students are active and engaged in an online environment using Google Classroom. You never have to sacrifice quality instruction when teaching in a virtual classroom.
  • Knowledge Management with OneNote and G Suite – Struggling to keep track of … well, everything? Wish you had an easy way to setup virtual meetings with others and share status reports by project? Let me introduce you to Microsoft Teams and OneNote. These tools work on all devices. Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, content, and apps together in one place. OneNote is a digital notebook, whiteboard and scrum board rolled into one. Want to learn how to do the same with G Suite tools? We’ll also explore that!
  • Ten Research-Based Practices That Accelerate Student Learning – Learn how technology can accelerate learning, especially when it’s used with ten teaching practices that are research-proven to help students achieve more.

So grab a colleague and register today for the Technology Acceleration Academy. Your students will thank you!

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