Technology provides instant access to information, which is why its presence in the classroom is vital. Smartphones, computers, and tablets are already an omnipresent element of everyday life for students and teachers alike. It’s so natural that technological devices in the classroom are explored to create meaningful learning experiences for students of all ages. Technology integration in education refers to using technology to enhance the student learning experience.
Utilizing different types of technology in the classroom, including a virtual classroom, creates learners who are actively engaged with learning objectives. Technology implementation also creates pathways for differentiated instruction to meet the unique needs of students as individual learners within a broader classroom climate.
Use Digital Classrooms for Organization & Accessibility
Digital Classrooms such as Google Classroom and Schoology facilitate the organization of lessons, handouts, and class work and make those class materials more accessible to students and families.
The organization and accessibility of materials are just the beginning. Digital Classrooms are a central location for additional resources, links to other Edtech apps, conversations amongst students, and more.
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Create Student-Centered, Personalized Instruction
Technology helps teachers provide students with targeted instruction at their level. For example, personalized math instruction programs like ST Math and Moby Max help students remediate skills or work on more advanced material if they are ready.
In addition to teaching to different skill levels, technology also helps teachers with varying modalities of learning, whether visual, auditory, or experiential.
Introducing new content with a Flocabulary rap video, presenting lessons with multimedia-rich Google Slides lessons, gamifying your classroom and awarding digital badges for student achievement, or reviewing for a test with a Kahoot game, are all almost objectively more engaging ways to teach than a traditional lecture & notes lesson.
Teach 21st Century Skills
In today’s world, it’s imperative to have basic computing skills. Imagine trying to make it through college today without the following skills successfully:
- Navigating the web
- Composing emails
- Touch typing
- Word processing
- Creating Google Slides, Keynote, or PowerPoint presentations
- Collaborating on online projects
IN HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOMS
Once students reach their secondary education, they can discover ways to use technology to benefit their college and career development. Familiarization with Microsoft Office and Google Drive teaches students to make spreadsheets, slide show presentations, and share documents where they can receive fluid feedback on their work. Many careers use these elements of Microsoft and Google to organize information and collaborate between colleagues or clients.
Internet Homework Assignments
Posting homework assignments online (via learning platforms like Blackboard, Brightspace, and Moodle) is one way many teachers can begin to integrate technology in the classroom. In addition, assignments are easily accessible, which can increase student engagement and help students become more organized.
Online grading Systems
Communication is a critical element of education that helps teachers, administrators, parents, and students recognize a student’s strengths and areas for improvement. Online grading systems such as PowerSchool open and facilitate lines of communication where teachers can post grades, analyze student attendance patterns, and manage transcript data.
Technology can allow teachers to implement differentiation throughout instruction for classrooms that are fortunate enough to have tablets for students. Students can work at their own pace during assignments, and teachers have the opportunity for one-on-one instruction.
Teach Digital Citizenship
Digital Citizenship lessons should include the basics of Internet safety. How to –
- determine where information is coming from and whether or not a source is reliable
- discern if an image or video has been altered
- handle cyberbullying and phishing (Suggested – How Can Teachers Minimize Classroom Bullying?)
- treat others respectfully in digital spaces, as well as the implications of oversharing and digital footprints.
Let’s sum up
Given the rapid changes in our increasingly digitized age, educators must adopt a holistic approach to technology. Used in tandem with thoughtful planned and skilled instruction, education technology has the power to improve academic outcomes, and transform the educational experiences of students, parents, and teachers for the better.
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