How should teachers use technology?

Some ed tech folks on Twitter have been discussing technology tools teachers should be able to use.

Based on my interactions with teachers through my website and blogs, I’d suggest a list of technology use practices teachers need to apply. Few items on my list have to do with actual teaching with technology. (I’ll save those for another post.) Teachers should:

  • Use school email only for school-related business.
  • Use their own personal email account, not one shared with a spouse or family.
  • Write an email subject line that indicates the topic of the message.
  • Compose email with the essential point in the opening paragraph.
  • Use an email signature that includes basic contact information.
  • Before sending attachments, ask intended recipients if they can read files in the selected format.
  • Use alternatives to attaching files to email, such as providing a link to a Google doc.
  • Distinguish between blogs and websites.
  • Download files without calling for tech support.
  • Provide basic information about their computer operating system, ISP and web browser when reporting a web problem.
  • Have available and use more than one web browser.
  • Have available and use a screen capture software program for things such as showing an error message or website problem.

Teachers who have these technology skills have a much easier time getting information they need in a timely manner than those who muddle through doing whatever is comfortable for them