Using Technology Can Change Your Classroom for the Better

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If one thing is for certain, it's that technology has a major presence in the world today. It also doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so why not use it to your advantage in teaching? Learn how using technology can change your classroom for the better.

Technology in Your Classroom

As a teacher, you may constantly be on the lookout for ways to make your classroom the best possible learning environment--an engaging, welcoming place where all students have equal opportunities and satisfactory outcomes. Fortunately, technology may be able to help you achieve those things. In fact, a report from the U.S. Department of Education indicates that technology can improve both the teaching and learning aspects of education. Let's take a look at some of the ways technology can help you change your classroom for the better.


Expanding Learning Methods

First of all, technology can improve your classroom by expanding learning methods and materials. Traditionally, students learned through textbooks, paper worksheets, and face-to-face lectures. These days, technology has opened the door to innovative learning methods and educational tools, including computers, tablets, interactive apps and games, virtual lectures, computerized testing, videos, slideshows, and more.

Blended learning can also be mentioned here. Technology has made it possible for students to learn in a blended format that includes a mix of in-person and online learning. This method can give students greater control over their educations and may increase their learning potential. Heather Staker is a blended learning pioneer who encourages blended learning in schools and has co-written a number of books on the topic. She believes blended learning can also cut back on wasteful screen time and free up teachers to work with students one on one.


Strengthening Engagement

Another way technology can positively change your classroom is by upping the engagement factor for your students. According to leading education company Pearson, technology boosts student engagement and motivation by making content relevant and interesting. It also allows students to dig deeper into topics, create things, collaborate with others, and expand their knowledge like never before.

Although there are several ways you can integrate technology into your classroom, Edutopia suggests combining meaningful instruction with motivational tool technologies to significantly raise your students' overall engagement.

Closing Achievement Gaps

Technology can also better your classroom by helping to close achievement gaps among your students. One way this happens is through personalized instruction. Instead of every student receiving the same assignment and lesson, digital tools allow each student to learn at their own pace and in ways that best suit their personal learning capabilities.

U.S. News & World Report states that students can experience large academic gains when given access to personalized learning methods. According to the Christensen Institute, technology can also help to close achievement gaps by positively affecting the things that may lead to those gaps in the first place: school attendance, student motivation, and classroom disruptions.


Increasing Productivity

Increased productivity for both your students and yourself is another perk of using technology in your classroom. An EdTechReview article indicates that students can become more productive, successful learners when they are immersed in engaging content and instruction that actually involves them in the learning process.

Furthermore, teachers can boost their productivity by utilizing specially designed software that allows for collaboration and sharing with parents and students. Also, long gone are the days of tracking student success with traditional gradebooks, paper tests, and grading by hand. Technology allows for computerized record keeping and testing that produces immediate results, which obviously increases productivity and time for other important classroom tasks.

Prepping Students for the Future

It seems that these days, almost everything involves at least a small amount of technology. Many job applications and orientations are now available via the internet. Online banking has made it possible to never actually see your money. And then there's communication--it's clear that email, texting, and social media have changed the way we communicate with one another. Because of these things and more, students should be kept familiar with the latest advancements in technology, and the classroom can be a great place to do this.

According to Education World, using technology in your classroom can help to craft technology-literate individuals who are prepared for the future. By using the latest software and learning materials, collaborating with their peers, and effectively communicating with others, students will be armed with some of the important skills they'll need to become successful members of the 21st century workforce.


Wrapping Things Up

As you can see, technology can change your classroom for the better in a number of ways. From expanding learning methods and boosting engagement levels to closing achievement gaps, increasing productivity, and preparing kids for the future, it's clear that technology definitely has its place in education. Keep in mind that implementing technology into your classroom may take some time, patience, and resources, but the rewards will likely be abundant.

By Erin Riskey
February 2017
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