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5 Practical Tips for Bringing Tech into the Classroom

DreamBox Nation weighs in on everything from crowdsourcing to digital citizenship

We recently challenged members of DreamBox Nation to share their top tips for bringing technology into the classroom. More than a hundred of you responded with practical insights on everything from securing funding to embracing rotation models.

As we sorted through your feedback, a common thread emerged. Whether it’s securing the actual physical resources (devices and apps) to introduce technology to their students or simply mustering the courage to try new things, DreamBox educators are getting it done. We’ve compiled all your passionate, resourceful, and creative responses into these five practical, share-worthy tips for our readers:

  1. Eliminate the fear factor

    It’s amazing how many responses started with the phrase, “Don’t be afraid to…“ If you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the prospect of incorporating technology into your classroom, you’re not alone. But, DreamBox Nation assures you there’s nothing to fear. As one teacher put it, “Just try it! Just jump in and learn through mistakes. No-one will judge!” If you think about it, that’s the same advice you’d give your students, right?

  2. Start small

    Never bite off more than you can chew. Give yourself and your students the time you need to master one new skill or tool at a time. As one fifth-grade teacher commented, “Technology is awesome and there are so many things you can do with it in the classroom. Just take your time to make sure you do it right.”

  3. Work with what you have—rotate

    Many schools and districts don’t have the resources to equip every student with a laptop or iPad, but that doesn’t mean that every student can’t have access to a device. The solution? Have students rotate through stations. While one group is working independently on computers or tablets, another group can be working directly with the teacher. And then you rotate.

  4. Crowdsource everything

    Whether you’re looking for funding or ideas, DreamBox Nation members highly recommend crowdsourcing. Try funding your tech needs with online platforms like DonorsChoose and PledgeCents. And, for the latest insights on edtech, follow thought leaders on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to edtech blogs like the one you’re reading now. Pinterest is also a great, unlimited, free source of inspiration for teachers looking to make the leap to tech.

  5. Teach digital citizenship

Make sure your students understand what it means to use technology responsibly. Common Sense, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering kids to thrive in a world of media and technology, offers a ton of online resources you can use to teach your students about device safety and how to be proper digital citizens.

    Not sure where to begin? Check out these free posters you hang in classroom to remind students about device care and maintenance, and how to stay safe online.

DreamBox Nation is a community designed for educators who are dedicated to improving student achievement with DreamBox Learning Math. If you’re not already a member, it’s free to join and takes only seconds to register. It’s a great opportunity to:

  • Connect with other DreamBox schools around the world.
  • Enjoy insider access to new features, content, and professional learning opportunities.
  • Earn points to use toward rewards—including industry event scholarships, fun swag, and classroom supplies. The more you participate, the more points you earn.

Just click the DreamBox Nation link under the Resources tab on your Insight Dashboard and follow the prompts.