Technology has become a way for administrators to not only share ideas with their instructors, but to create more interactive, more collaborative lessons. Using technology is an important way for administrators, instructors and managers to engage learners in ways that resonate with them.
However, it is the role of the administrator to lead by example—to pioneer the way technology is used in their business, schools or governmental affairs.
Administrators act as important models for instructors. By unifying and leading their teams, they lay the foundation for what instructors take back into their lessons, including technology.
Ways to model the effective use of technology include:
A. Transitioning to digital correspondence
B. Supporting professional development for instructors seeking to become more technologically savvy
C. Attending technology conferences
D. Encouraging digital communication between learners and instructors
While some instructors may initially be reluctant to use technology administrators can—through their own use of technology—define the strategy for technology integration throughout the organization. By being a considerate and flexible team leader, you can even get your instructors to fall in love with ed-tech.
Educational technology continues to grow at an exponential rate, with new tools emerging onto the space almost daily. The following are some of the best ed-tech tools for all types of administrators to increase their own productivity while also unifying their teams and modeling effective technology use.
Dropbox is an innovative and widely used file-sharing platform that enables users to share files securely and access those files from virtually any device. For businesses, it has become a driving force for productivity and collaboration. Dropbox Education is particularly useful for instructors and administrators. There are no file size limits, and files are synced across all devices to ensure the accurate, cohesive sharing of ideas. Some excellent uses for Dropbox Education include:
A. Centralizing instructors’ individual curricula, allowing for easier review and feedback; this also enables them to share among their peers, fostering a greater sense of teamwork
B. Storing instructors’ grade books and learners’ transcripts, allowing them to be accessed by all relevant personnel, and ensuring that the most recent grades are always accessible
C. Maintaining the security and accuracy of documents when devices, like laptops and tablets are updated
2.) T2K Echo
Echo is an “interactive, insight-driven, social learning environment to drive effective learning and deliver results.” This platform features a Studio component for instructors to transform lesson plans and assignments into rich, active, and engaging educational content. The Box feature enables cloud-based file sharing and storage.
Beyond Studio and Box, however, the Insights tool is especially important for educators. Insights allows instructors and administrators to use learner reports to gain a better understanding of how learners are performing. It tracks interaction with content to monitor a learners progress, empowering instructors to make active decisions on how to better engage their learners. Watch this video to learn more about how Echo works.
Slack is a platform that allows team members to communicate in real-time via instant message. However, it goes beyond the typical office chat service in that it brings communication together, decreasing the need for email and creating a shared work space where people can access files, filter conversations, and send messages privately or team-wide.
For educators, Slack is becoming an impactful way to share ideas—not only with colleagues but with all instructors on Slack. Slack utilizes hashtags, much like Twitter, to organize conversation by themes. Conversations that are set to public are easily searchable by teachers anywhere, allowing them to take part in some of the most current talks in the education and training space.
G Suite is Google’s answer to Microsoft Office: a suite of programs and apps designed to increase productivity and keep teams organized. It’s cloud based, so it can be accessed seamlessly across all devices. This also promotes collaboration between instructors, keeping them connected so that everybody stays on the same page. G Suite features email, video chat, and instant message. Some of the most important G Suite tools include:
A. Docs: documents with real-time editing that multiple people can work on
B. Sheets: advanced online spreadsheets
C. Calendar: a centralized calendar helps you keep track of your schedules and also makes it much easier to schedule faculty meetings, one-on-ones, and keep track of conferences
Technology is no longer the future of learning and training; it is the reality. Today, we are living in an era that requires instructors to adapt to the latest technological trends in order to engage with their learners. Learners are inundated with technology in almost every aspect of their lives: it is the language they speak.
As administrators, it is important to lay the foundation for your instructors and managers to use technology. A technologically adept administrator is a role model whom demonstrates the efficiency of technology, the collaboration it empowers, and the ways it can enrich and elevate each learners’ experience.