Technology is all around us from our personal lives and in our daily work lives. We all know it’s not going away, as a matter of a fact I guess you could say just the opposite, more and more it’s being integrated into our lives, schools, and classrooms.
I believe for us to continue to raise the bar in our classrooms and student salons, it’s imperative that we remain open to technology and embrace it not only to stay competitive but provide today’s learners what they have come to expect in an educational setting.
When we talk about integrating technology into our classrooms, I find some educators embrace it with open arms, while others find themselves experiencing what I like to call is the “fear factor.” The “fear factor” is a real thing and the number one contributing factors is the “fear factor.”
So, why exactly are we so fearful? The fear of implementing something new, fear of letting go, losing control of the classroom, and afraid of the unknown. Certainly, this list of fears can feel real if you don’t set yourself up for success when integrating technology and digital resources into your schools.
To help eliminate the “fear factor” follow these easy action steps.
#1: Be Open to Change
The number one thing that holds us back is not being open to change. Avoid getting caught up on the “what if’s” or the “yeah, buts.” Push yourself to remain open to new tools that will ultimately make your job easier in the classroom.
#2: Take a Test Drive
Spend the time to take a test drive of any digital resource like MindTap well in advance to going live in your classrooms. Get comfortable with the in’s and out’s, how to navigate through the system. Become comfortable with the product.
#3: Have a Plan of Action
Integrating technology isn’t a “build it, and they will come” situation. Have a plan of action around how you will integrate technology into your curriculum. Identify what will be needed to ensure a smooth transition for you and your students.
#4: Surround Yourself with Experts
It’s important to know you will experience a natural learning curve. To help you progress quickly through the learning curve, surround yourself with experts. Perhaps, it’s a co-worker, a friend, or a product representative. Having the expert available to support you and answer any questions along the way can certainly make the transition more comfortable.
Integrating technology doesn’t have to be scary! You’ll find the many powerful benefits to you and your students.
Patti Wanamaker brings 21 years of experience to the Milady team, where she currently serves as an Academic Training Specialist. Her intimate understanding of the salon, school, and beauty industry comes from 18 years of hands-on experience as a multi-faceted training specialist, including 8 years of salon and spa ownership of 3 salons with annual sales of $5 million. Her experience in all 3 areas of our industry allows her to think outside the box and develop innovative trainings that not only inspire, but empower educators/trainers to create the most effective learning environments for their students.