How to Reach Educators. An Elementary Perspective [INTERVIEW]
Tuning Forke interviewed Heidi Morgan, a 5th and 6th grade teacher in New Lenox.
In addition to being an elementary school teacher, Heidi is also an adjunct instructor at University of St. Francis, Edmodo Certified Trainer and Ambassador, a Midwest Spotlight Educator at METC 2014, Illinois Computing Educators Educator of the Year Nominee and Finalist, and a Golden Apple Nominee.
This week we asked Heidi to share her thoughts on how edtech companies should approach educators and schools to get their products into the classroom.
Tuning Forke: How often do you come across new edtech products that are targeted at you or your students?
As a classroom teacher, I feel that I am bombarded with new edtech products all the time. My social media feeds and my inbox are flooded with new tools all the time.
Tuning Forke: What do you feel is the best way for edtech product companies to reach teachers like yourself in order to showcase their products?
Personally, I like emails that are no pressure emails with no strings attached. These emails have a link to the product and allow me time to explore the product on my own time. I really enjoy when there is a product link and an invitation to a webinar on the product if I would like to explore the product more
Tuning Forke: What is the general feeling of educators when they come across a new edtech product?
I think the general feeling positive if the product will engage students while helping them meet curricular goals.
Tuning Forke: Which do you prefer? Free trials or free samples?
My preference would always be a free trial. I feel a free trial lets me explore the product and all it has to offer me and my students. Then, I feel I can make the best educational choice for my students and their learning.
Tuning Forke: How do you usually share new edtech information with your colleagues?Do you share it at all?
I share new edtech information with my colleagues in as many ways as I can. I send them emails, I offer to come in and model using it with their students during my plan time, and I offer them time to explore edtech with me before and after school.
Tuning Forke: What’s the latest product that your students have ever introduced you to?
Recently, a student taught me how to use PowToon. He did a presentation using it. I was so impressed, I had him teach me how to use it.
Tuning Forke: What products have parents introduced you to?
I have been lucky enough to have received two OSMO sets as part of their buy one gift one program. Two parents of students in my classes have bought OSMO sets for home, and they then gifted a set to my classroom.
Tuning Forke: Does your principal ever talk to you about using technology in the classroom? What is the general attitude of your school administration towards edtech?
My principal and all of the administrators in my school district support the use of edtech in the classroom. I have always felt their support and encouragement with the integration of technology. It is expected that we integrate technology into our lessons and that we use technology to facilitate transparency.
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