Teacher Interview Questions About Technology
When you are applying for a teaching position, a typical job interview question is, "How have you used, or how will you use, technology in the classroom?"
With all of the new forms of technology available, schools are eager to incorporate it into their classrooms whenever possible. It's important to assure your interviewer that you are familiar with and enthusiastic about using available technology.
In addition, note that you are always looking to research new technologies to implement in your classroom, as they become available.
Make a List of Technology You Have Used in the Classroom or at School
Review your past five years at work. Which technologies did you use and how did you use them?
- Platforms: Tablets, desktop computers, laptop computers, mobile devices.
- Software: Software packages (such as Microsoft Office), programs, apps.
- Display Devices: Smart boards, video displays.
- Video: Cameras, video recorders, video editing devices, and applications.
- Audio: Microphones, speakers, mixers, amplifiers, recording devices, audio editing devices, and applications.
What Technology Do You Use at Home?
Discuss how you use technology at home and in your personal life. What social media do you use? Do you use a fitness tracker? Are there apps or games you enjoy? How might familiarity with these translate into future technology in the classroom? If your previous schools had little technology in the classroom, showing that you use it at home can be a positive response.
Did you teach your children, spouse, parents, or grandparents how to use technology?
What Technology Did You Use at Non-Classroom Jobs?
Be able to discuss how you used computers and other technology in jobs that were not in education. You may have used tablets and mobile devices in paid or volunteer work. Have examples of how you found them useful for performing the jobs or how you coached co-workers in using them.
Provide Examples of Technology You Have Used
Provide the interviewer with specific examples of what technologies you have used in the past:
- I was lucky to have one of the first 'Smart Boards' in my classroom. The children were immediately engaged and eager to explore the possibilities being offered. We learned together just what an amazing teaching tool it could be.
- We used tablets in my last class and the students used apps to enhance their lessons.
- I taught a class that created a blog and a wiki, with all of the students contributing. Students that were reluctant to speak in class blossomed when they were able to write their entries.
- One of my classes developed a podcast to share with other students and their families.
- We connected to guests via Skype for interviews. The students asked questions and received answers from experts who were far away or too busy to come to class in person.
- I use a personal computer or tablet to develop and organize my lesson plans and to calculate final grades.
Be Prepared to Talk about Social Media and Internet Safety Policies
The use of social media – both by students and by teachers – is a charged issue with many educators. While you should be prepared, as a teacher, to demonstrate your command of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you also need to make sure that your use of these tools is transparent and that the way you present yourself there is above reproach.
You should also know and be prepared to discuss your local school board’s policies governing Internet use and the safety protocols they have implemented in their public schools. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), twenty-five states have implemented Internet filtering laws that require publicly funded schools and libraries to instigate policies that prevent minors from accessing obscene, sexually explicit, or otherwise harmful content on the Internet. These laws arose in response to the 2000 Federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), mandating that schools receiving funds from the federal E-rate program provide Internet filtering of classroom technologies accessed by students.
The other significant piece of legislation to be aware of is the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), that protected students under 13 from having their personal information collected without the consent of a parent or guardian (which is why social platforms like Facebook require users to be 13 or older).
Some school districts have responded to these laws not only by filtering websites, but also by prohibiting social media contact between teachers and students.
Thus, you should be aware of your school district’s policies before going into the interview. If your district is one of the many that does allow teachers to use social media technologies for teacher-student and student-student discussion, be prepared to discuss what safeguards you would implement to ensure student user safety and privacy in accessing whatever class blogs or social media pages you set up and administer.