Education technology like apps and mobile devices have been proven to be really effective in improving student outcomes and enhancing engagement in the classroom.
For Swan River School District 4 in Montana, apps and mobile devices made it possible for educator Shelley Emslie to become a Google Certified Educator and an ed tech pioneer with limited support from their small IT staff.
While the ease of tools like G Suite for Education, teachers are able to start on the path to becoming experts in education technology. However, for educators to truly embrace technology for active learning, support and training are required.
For some rural and low-income schools, teachers are receiving less training on how they can incorporate tech in meaningful ways. For these districts, an investment in professional development might be hard to come by.
To get the most out of educational technology, IT and district leaders with limited access can develop teachers’ skills by seeking out partnerships with organizations with an online presence.
1. CUE Provides Year-Round Professional Learning
California-based non-profit CUE offers a variety of camps and workshops to thousands of members worldwide.
Administrators, librarians and technology coordinators can learn new skills in G Suite for Education or Microsoft Office 365.
For educators in California and Nevada, CUE also supports a network of geographically-defined affiliates that give members year-round support with everything from conferences to grants.
2. EdTechTeam Promotes Bootcamps for In-Demand Skills
Whether it is professional development customized to your school's needs or in-person bootcamps and online courses for teachers and trainers, EdTechTeam works to ensure that today's educators are getting 21st-century skills.
EdTechTeam also offers support using their blog, which earned a spot on our 2017 Honor Roll.
3. Educational Collaborators Assists Schools with Rolling Out Tech
National consulting organization Education Collaborators takes an integrated approach, offering strategic planning and technology integration in addition to professional development.
The organization offers up services on Microsoft and Google technologies.
4. friEDTechnology Leverages a Teacher's Expertise
Founded by a veteran public school teacher, friEDTechnology focuses on using technology to learn — not learning technology — and helps schools leverage Google tools in innovative ways.
From webinars to white papers, founder Amy Mayer provides a variety of free tools in addition to her other services.
For more on how to open up educational opportunities with digital tools read our Fall 2017 magazine feature, "Schools Leverage Apps and Easy-to-Manage Suites of Learning Tools."