Using Technology in the Classroom
Benefits of Technology in the Classroom
The growing presence of technology in the classroom is directly correlated with students' increased usage of technology outside of the classroom. Thanks to students' familiarity with technology, teachers can utilize different types of technology to create a more diverse and inclusive learning environment.
The main benefit of using technology in the classroom is interactive lessons that engage students, foster in-depth learning, and encourage collaboration. Technology in the classroom also provides benefits for teachers, such as saving time by creating lesson plans online.
There are pros and cons for incorporating technology in the classroom. The drawbacks of technology in the classroom can include shorter attention spans for students and a decreased ability to finish intricate projects. Overall screen time in and out of the classroom can contribute to poor educational performance and weight problems in children.
In contrast, some research on technology in the classroom has demonstrated that it can improve student test scores, literacy, and overall outcomes. The Journal of Research on Technology in Education also published an article that compiled the results of 174 international case studies showing teachers found technology was a benefit in the classroom.
Integrating Technology in the Classroom
To use technology in the classroom, teachers incorporate a variety of devices into lesson plans, such as computers, tablets, and even smart phones. Teachers new to integrating technology in the classroom can benefit from tips like avoiding broad Google searches and ensuring students understand the objective of the lesson plan.
Other strategies to help integrate technology in the classroom include:
- Understanding how to use the technology and how it benefits the lesson plan
- Informing parents of how technology will be used
- Closely monitoring students' usage during the lesson
- Having a back-up plan in the case of technical difficulties
When used properly, teachers can harness the power of technology to enhance students' analytical thinking and problem solving abilities.
While technology can be a valuable learning tool, every lesson plan does not need to incorporate it. Technology is just one of the many ways that teachers can create engaging, meaningful lessons for their students.
Assistive Technology in the Classroom
The use of assistive technology in the classroom is any program, device, or equipment piece that is intended to help improve the way students comprehend and interact with others. Using technology in the classroom can enhance not only students' learning, but also how teachers can impact their students.
Becoming informed on the history and advantages of assistive technology in learning can help teachers better incorporate it into their classroom. Students with intellectual or emotional disabilities benefit from assistive technology because it gives them more independence over their work. Assistive technology has benefits for gifted and talented students, too, as it allows them to learn at their own pace as well as participate in collaboration.
Types of Technology in the Classroom
Teachers can utilize more than just computers and tablets in the 21st century classroom. A few examples include:
- Interactive whiteboards: teachers use a projector in conjunction with a device like a laptop to shows the screen to the whole class on the interactive whiteboard
- A document camera: when a camera is connected to a multimedia projector and shows real-time activity
- Game-based learning: lesson plans that involve game-based learning are competitive, yet also provide students an opportunity to have fun while learning
When choosing the appropriate type of technology for the classroom, teachers should be aware of current educational technology trends, such as a flipped classroom. With this instructional method, students are tasked with learning the material at home via Internet research or recorded lectures. Teachers then provide activities in the classroom to help them apply what they learned on their own.
Another trending topic in classroom technology is the use of social media to enhance student learning. Many students in middle school and high school are active on social media, so teachers can incorporate social learning activities to help learning fit what students already enjoy.
To save time on planning and to further engage students, teachers can utilize various online learning tools in the classroom. For example, Study.com has thousands of videos teachers can show in the classroom, as well as quizzes and tests that can be sent as assignments that are then automatically graded.