Back to School for the First Time: Tech Tips for Newbies

For first-time teachers, the past few weeks of the new school year have meant getting acclimated to their classrooms and beginning to establish relationships with students and parents. The environment in which they find themselves is not unlike how many employees feel when they first begin working at an association or even when they change departments.

Both new teachers and association employees often get on-the-job training that requires them to master a variety of processes and systems in a short period of time. Many of these are technology-based. As such both groups need personal plans for managing technology.

A recent article by Kelly Tenkely, a technology integration specialist, in Monster.com’s teaching community offers some useful technology tips for new teachers that I think are good practices for both new and tenured association team members to keep in mind as they go about their everyday activities. Here’s a quick summary of three that are particularly relevant:

Develop a personal learning network (PLN) on Twitter. Twitter is an excellent place for people to connect, collaborate, and share ideas and struggles with others around the world. Make sure that you’ve included information in your profile about areas in which you want you want to gain additional expertise.
Take charge of professional development. Attaining a certain degree of success in your profession doesn’t mean you are finished learning. A good team member is continually learning. Technology makes it easy to extend your learning by offering professional development on demand.
Keep yourself organized. As you find great resources, keep track of all these great finds in one easy to manage location. For example, Delicious.com is one popular site that allows you to bookmark and organize websites and web tools as you find them and then share them with others.

Employees who maintain a certain degree of a “back-to-school” mentality when it comes to technology will be an asset to your organization. They are ready and willing to learn how to implement technology Platform Solutions that will make their associations more effective and productive.