Have you ever chatted to a colleague who seemed to have superhero-like powers with a certain app? Or maybe you felt in awe about how much they knew about your school’s learning management system (like Google Classroom, or Canvas, or Microsoft Teams)? Do you sometimes wonder whether your EdTech skills are on par with where you think they need to be at this stage of your career?
Fear not, things aren’t as scary as they may seem...
Just because someone is highly skilled in the integration of an app, or has achieved digital course certifications, or is merely advocating for technology, doesn’t necessarily define what makes them an EdTech leader. They may be leaders, or even experts, with certain platforms, devices, or apps, but EdTech Agility is not limited to just a few areas.
Throughout my experiences working with a variety of students and educators from different parts of the world and circumstances, there is always a constant change agent that surfaces: education technology agility.
The educators and students who are more inspired to learn new EdTech, the ones who take the risks to integrate them into their own practices, as well as the ones who actively share and promote them across their own communities - these are the ones who’ve been exposed to an EdTech culture that is vast, varied, and growing.
What is EdTech agility?
According to most reliable sources, agility is the ability to think, understand, and move quickly, which coincides brilliantly with verbs that we associate with EdTech knowledge and skills acquisition. EdTech Agility is therefore a term I’ve adopted in my personal and professional practices, that refers to one’s versatility in understanding and using a variety of different education technology tools and strategies across learning.
The more we learn, practice using, innovate with, and share what we’ve learned about different EdTech tools and strategies, as well as how they impact education communities, the more EdTech agile we become. With the rate in which technology is changing and innovating, there is always a new piece of hardware or software that educators and students could be learning to use at any given moment in time.
So then, how are we promoting and building education technology flexibility and agility across our education communities, amidst this rapid rate of tech growth?
Here are 10 strategies that education professionals could add to their professional practice, to help build their EdTech Agility:
1. Expand your reading collection to include technology and EdTech trends.
The more we’re aware of what’s upcoming and trending, the more inspired we’ll be to give it a try and encourage others to give it a try too.
Teachers and students will love trying out new things, as new challenges are highly motivational. Not to mention, it’s a great way to build leadership qualities too.
3. Be a risk-taker.
If you have access to hardware and software at your school, don’t just wait to learn from others, take the risk to try yourself. You’ll be so proud of yourself, and the thrill and confidence built, will no doubt inspire you to do it again.
4. Start now.
Don’t wait to become an expert with the hardware/software before you start using it in classrooms with students, or in PD with your staff.
There’s never a more perfect time to start, than right now.
Take a borrowed idea and adapt it for your own classroom, and then share those amazing experiences back-out to your communities.
6. Learn collaboratively.
Jump in to exploring and discovering new EdTech tools and strategies collaboratively with your students, and learn together. You might be pleasantly surprised at just how much that strengthens relationships as well.
Take a used education tool/strategy, and spark-it-up with an EdTech twist. The more we spice-up learning, the more learners will want to engage with their learning experiences.
8. Reuse...is not just for the environment.
Pull out used EdTech tools/strategies, check out any updates, and reuse them innovatively to keep your skills strong.
9. Lead by example = share, share, share.
Just as positive energy is contagious, so are EdTech WINs.
10. Grow your Professional Learning Networks (#PLNs).
You know what they say: ‘birds of a feather’ - and it’s no joke. The more we surround ourselves with like-minded people, the more we’re going to grow, and the more success we’ll achieve.
EdTech Agility will never just be about the actual education technology, it’s about the journey, the growth, and the creative process it ignites when fostering those 4C’s of digital citizenship across education...it’s all about the inspirational and creative transformation that occurs when working diversely with EdTech tools and strategies within a community.