Creating an Up-Skilling Environment: Teaching with Technology
Updated: May 22, 2020
What we choose to surround ourselves with becomes a part of our daily rhythm. In today’s nursing education system, some team members may feel more proficient in the use of technology for teaching-learning than others. As some educators may join the organization with formerly developed tech strengths, while others may engage in continuous self-directed learning for their skills, technology super-users can share their honed tech-savvy abilities with the team. While faculty work to evolve their understanding of teaching with technology and the relevant theories and models that back this transition, support from faculty peers is essential.
The premise of incorporating a super-user model for technological advancements within the healthcare system is something that we have seen often during this past decade and has been supported by the Institute of Medicine. Since we must gather and share best practice in order to foster a learning healthcare system, numerous facilities have utilized tech-savvy staff members to form support groups to trouble-shoot issues encountered by those experiencing difficulty with electronic charting. Super-users are made available to coach other staff members when necessary as issues arise. We are continuously amazed on how technology can drastically change the mood of an experience. Mentoring one another within nursing education can lend to a strong faculty team environment, where everyone incorporates new tech tools effectively and with encouragement.
Don’t take a long break from the action. Nursing education demands that we continuously grow our strengths and lift up those around us to ensure that we are all facilitating the most effective education that we can. There is no one-size-fits-all model to teach one another how to best improve technology in the classroom, being that experience with computer navigation and technologically enhanced tools will vary. However, a tiered approach is likely to support user groups of varying skill levels to promote success. While some faculty teams may find it most suits their needs to have informal mentorship over developing improved skill, others may benefit from establishing formal positions for training coordinators who target this goal. Educators must inspire team-oriented environments in which assistance is available and strengths are utilized. It is imperative to know the team's strengths and weaknesses, as each member has unique talents that can be maximized to benefit the group's goals. Also, consider contributing to your growth and the growth of others by writing for us!
Think about where you see yourself in the classroom. Do you feel confident with integrating new technology? Perhaps the answer to this question changes day-by-day or term-by-term and you find yourself somewhere in the middle. What you have to offer and what you need from others likely varies from time to time as you up-skill.
When you feel tech-savvy...
Offer to put together a handout for your team about the awesome user-friendly program that you just explored while making a tool for your community of learners. Type it up and share it!
Use the new program to design a tutorial for your peers on how to use said program.
Accompany a peer to their educational session/lecture during their first pass with a new teaching tool to offer support.
Engage in lunch with a peer or small group to answer questions or brainstorm innovative ideas, along with how to navigate incorporating some adventurous new techniques.
When you feel unsure about how to get started with technology…
Ask an educator peer what their favorite programs are for academic or clinical education and why.
Sit in on a lecture or staff development meeting while a peer integrates technologically enhanced teaching-learning tools to enrich the experience.
Identify barriers to your interest in or ability to incorporate technology in your classroom, and then seek out the assistance of a mentor to work through planning.
Read about ways to challenge the status quo and combine exciting technology that can be used to meet diverse active, authentic, applied, and experiential learning needs.
Pause, Reflect, and Plan:
You can choose to surround yourself with exciting teaching-learning tools, so that their use becomes part of your daily rhythm. Are you a member of a creative team? Inspiring creativity in your teaching takes thought and commitment. Does your place in education feel standard? As we like to say, let’s push our teaching-learning experiences from suitable to incredible. Select some ways to move forward to ensure that you, and those on your team, are providing engaging education that motivates success! There is something about grabbing a cup of coffee or a mug of hot tea and siting down to collaborate with others about ways to grow. Call up a peer and share what is on your mind. Do you have a new idea? Are you looking for one? Slow down and connect.
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