Are you one of the high performing teachers that still introduce themselves as teachers alone?
“Hi – my name is Gilbert, I am a physics teacher,” you say.
But you use your smartphone timer when conducting a class quiz, you check the internet for resources and you’ve sometimes requested your students to do a quick picture snap and send you their sums via WhatsApp when they need help.
You infuse technology in your instructional delivery, yet you do not take the advantage to introduce yourself as one when you have the opportunity.
Maybe you think it’s normal or it feels to you that you don’t know enough to call yourself an edtech professional.
In this post, I want to show you how to become an edtech professional in 5 easy steps.
The good news is that you’ve completed half the course work, as you’re already a teacher, educator, or educationist. Let’s infuse the tech into it.
Before we hit the nail on the head to share the 5 easy ways to become an edtech professional, let’s talk about the edtech space.
What is education technology? – (edtech/edutech for short.)
Yes, you’re almost correct.
Education technology is the use of technology in education. But there’s more to it.
Education technology is the study that longs to understand the lifecycle of learning instructions and materials to improve it with technology.
Some professionals call it instructional technology.
Instead of having one of your students’ monitor the time by counting to time in that quiz competition, you opted for your stopwatch. Smart and accurate.
Instead of racking your brains to explain that concept in the best way possible, you hinged to a youTube channel to help you substantiate the concept.
Pretty easy for you, right?
That’s you using technology to improve instructional delivery.
Can edTech replace schools?
But as a teacher, or school owner, it is fair to think that edtech will someday replace traditional schools? Yeah, I understand – you think you’ll wake up someday and your job will be gone.
No. edTech replacing schools is not as easy as it seems. It’s a deep conversation of the concept of people, practice, products, and policies – by the education stakeholders.
There is nothing compared to the physical interaction between teachers and students.
For instance, Social skills in a classroom setting can’t be best learned at home. Rather than matured interaction works well only in classes.
There would always be a classroom setting to bridge those gaps.
A basic science teacher prepared to teach fruits won’t have the chance to explain fruit texture in an online class – but it would be fun to do so in a physical classroom environment.
If edTech then doesn’t work that way…
How edTech works
On the surface, edTech works by using technology to better the learning process. However, the effectiveness and readiness – on the side of learners and educators is another discourse.
A report by the Center for Global Development highlighted that studies are ongoing to ascertain these broad areas of edtech: self-led learning software, improvements to instruction, access to technology, and technology-enabled behavioral interventions.
Just to understand how the Ps revolving edTech works – (again, people, practice, products, and policies)
It also mentioned the One-Laptop-Per-Child Initiative in Latin America, and I asked myself, “Who will bear the cost?”
Now that you know where you’re heading, let’s talk about the…
5 Easy Ways To Become An Edtech Professional
Decide If It’s Best For You
Do you really want to do this?
Being a teacher doesn’t necessarily mean you can be an edtech specialist. In this technological age where useful resources are available everywhere, it is easy to be a professional in any field, if you’re set to achieve it.
So, decide if the edtech path is what you want to thread.
If you’re the classroom teacher that always looks for ways to better learners’ instructional delivery process, then the edtech path might be your interest. Or you’re the type that loves providing solutions to the bottlenecks in education, then it will be a pleasure ride for you.
I fall in the second category. I am fascinated by creating solutions that help education stakeholders like learners, teachers, parents, and schools to better do their jobs and give them a seamless experience.
And it’s okay if you don’t have it figured out just yet. It takes time.
I have started solving some teacher’s problems with technology before I realized it. That fashioned my path to obtaining a PostDip in Computer Science, PostDip in Education, and planning a Masters Degree in Technology-enhanced Education.
Many people would say to obtain a bachelor’s degree in educational technology. I would advise you to start by solving education-related problems to ascertain if that journey is for you.
Intern In A School
If you have no school teaching experience, you should intern in a school.
But you’re a teacher, right?
So there is no need for that. You’re 5 stars ahead of an intern.
What’s important now is to put those teaching experiences into use. Clearly identify those problems you had as a classroom teacher and the ones you are currently facing.
Then think through it, and begin looking for solutions.
Get Government Recognition
Education is a very important aspect of every economy. That’s why the Government pays attention to the policies and practices guiding the profession.
Depending on your country, you might be required to take the teacher certification test in your state or country, and become a licensed education professional.
Don’t stop learning
Specializations flood the education technology space. Aside from working as a classroom teacher, you can function as a computer instructor, media specialist, curriculum designer, instructional delivery analyst, faculty support, and development specialist, etc.
The list is endless. However, your career compass will dictate where you fit.
By learning more, you add more badges to your profile.
Like I’m planning to, you can further up your learning by earning a master’s degree or take specialized courses.
If you haven’t faced any classroom problems, you’d have heard your colleagues talk about the problems faced in the classroom. If they didn’t talk about it either, create a short survey and share it with the teacher in your network.
Identify a problem and work hard to solve it. Engage with experts in your target area to get insights on how to solve the problem. That way, you speak on a more practical and intellectual level rather than merely on theoretical concepts.
What if you couldn’t figure out an educational problem to solve with technology?
Then apply for an educational technology position in any company you identify will need your services.
That’s not all.
Teachers using edTech become better teachers. They become more caring, develop a growth mindset, and easily transition into the professional world of education technology experts.
You see! Like Peter Rabbit – easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Being an edtech professional has never been easier.
Got something to add? Share it in the comment section.