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5 Ways To Help Teachers Get Started using myTeachstone

30 Aug 2016 by Emily Doyle

Technology is pretty cool. Just think, we have the ability to instantly share photos with friends all over the world, order groceries with a single tap, and in the case of myTeachstone, engage in relevant, individualized professional development from the comfort of your classroom or home. But there are certainly some challenges that technology can’t solve.

When it comes to myTeachstone, no matter how fantastic the system is, it won’t have any impact if teachers do not “take the plunge” and activate their accounts. The good news is that as a coach, director, or administrator, there are many effective ways to overcome this challenge and support teachers in taking their first step in becoming active myTeachstone learners. These tips are ideal if you work directly with teachers as a director or coach.

  1. Set up a myTeachstone activation party
    Ever hear that there is strength in numbers? This is true for getting started with myTeachstone. Set aside a few minutes at your center during a time like regular staff meeting to bring teachers together to take turns activating their myTeachstone accounts. Make it fun by bringing in snacks or lunch. This sets a positive tone for the group (We’re in this together!), allows them to begin asking questions in a safe space, and provides built-in supports (fellow teachers) for those teachers that might have some discomfort with the technology.

  2. Provide a few minutes of classroom relief
    If you’ve noticed a teacher struggling to get started with myTeachstone, find out if lack of time is a factor. Perhaps she needs to use the center’s Internet connection, but can’t seem to carve out 15 minutes to get set up because all her time is used up in the classroom. As a coach or center director, offer some classroom coverage to provide the teacher with a few minutes of child-free time to get logged in and onboarded into myTeachstone. She will appreciate a break from the classroom, and you can feel good knowing she’s taken her first step in her myTeachstone journey. 

  3. Offer one-on-one support
    If you’ve noticed that the teacher is skeptical or anxious about using online technology, that’s a sign she might need some deeper support in getting started. Maybe the teacher doesn’t typically use email, or maybe she has little computer experience at all—whatever the issue, sitting down beside her at the computer and providing step-by-step support can be incredibly helpful. You might even consider printing out this teacher user guide, and keeping it beside a shared computer in a common space, so that teachers always have access to click-by-click instructions.

  4. Create myTeachstone buddies
    In an ideal world, directors and coaches would be available to support teachers at the drop of a hat. However, we know this is rarely possible. Consider creating “myTeachstone buddies” by pairing two teachers together to support each other throughout their myTeachstone experience. Be intentional in your pairings; for example, a highly “tech savvy” teacher could make a great buddy to a more “tech anxious” teacher. Look for ways to connect them in learning opportunities by creating teacher-buddy online teacher groups and assigning them to the same professional development resources that they can discuss online or in-person as a team.

  5. Make sure they know they are not alone
    One common fear people have about online learning is that, as opposed to a face-to-face training, it can feel isolating. Make sure teachers know they are never alone. Teachstone is always just a call or email away if they need help with anything at all. Print out this flyer and post it in your centers to remind teachers how to connect with Teachstone, or additional local support (if available).

Do you have any tips to share on this topic? Let us know in the comments below!