1) They always start with the why. Technology for technology’s sake is dangerous. Highly effective teachers who use technology always have a reason for using new technology tools. Whether it saves them time, improves learning outcomes, or helps with lesson planning, highly effective teachers always start with the why.
2) They are malleable and can easily adapt. Technology is constantly changing, and the classroom environment will be drastically different in 2 years. Understanding the big picture is key.
3) They embrace change. Most teachers who use technology today are innovators or early adopters. Embracing (not fighting) change is key. The world hates change yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.
4) They share, share, and then share some more. Technology has opened the door for collaboration beyond the school walls. A teacher in Romania can now collaborate with a teacher in the UK. Knowledge is power, but it is also free (and it should be). Technology lovers share best practices, which benefits everyone (which is the point!)
5) They think win-win-win-win. Technology cannot work properly if there is not buy-in from the administration, parents, teachers, and the student. First and foremost, there is nothing worse than having an administrator not embrace technology. Secondly, it is imperative that you show parents the value of technology. Thirdly, as a teacher, you have to truly believe that it can impact learning outcomes. Lastly (and most importantly), students must see the value!
6) They are extremely thorough and think two steps ahead. How are you going to present new technology at the professional development meeting, especially if you know some teachers don’t embrace change? Highly effective teachers who use technology already know the answers to any question, and they have concrete examples showing its effectiveness.
7) They actively care. Teachers who use technology typically are the ones who can’t sleep at night because they are so excited about a lesson plan idea, are thinking of ways to engage their classroom, and pinch themselves at night, wondering how they get paid to inspire students. They don’t just care; they actively care, and they embrace technology, not because it makes their job easier, but because it allows them to make a greater impact.
What are your thoughts?