There is no question that technology is an essential part of life. More and more people are constantly adapting to new and emerging technologies, and teachers and students are no exception. In the classroom, technology includes all types of tools — from low-tech paper, chalkboard, and pencil to high-tech tablets, presentation software, conferencing tools, and online collaboration.
An American school directory shares some examples of how technology can help teachers and assist in accelerating the learning process for students.
Teaching with Technology
1. Supplemental teaching tools
Technology assists teachers in expanding and reinforcing content. The use of the same lesson plans won’t keep students engaged and show enthusiasm, but interactive presentation tools, graphics, video clips, and other audio visual elements will make lessons fresh and help keep students actively engaged in chemistry or physics lessons.
2. Teachers must not fear open-source technologies
Many believe that education technologies are costly and too complicated to use. But there are open-source technologies that are secure, stable, and compatible with various platforms. Most organizations today are actually using open-source devices for efficiency and costs savings.
3. Use online portfolios to evaluate students
Paper-based portfolios have been used for generations. Portfolios will allow students to express creativity for subjects that are difficult to assess. Teachers can choose from various online portfolio providers that can cater to the unique needs of their classroom.
Also, these will serve as a good platform for students to establish growth. Furthermore, online portfolios are amenable to different formats like music, video, and other interactive features.
4. Use course management tools to organize resources
There are plenty of course management tools that allow teachers to properly organize all the resources that students need for a class, including assignments, online quizzes, and syllabi.
These tools will also create spaces for discussion, video and audio commentary, and document sharing. Most importantly, it provides valuable grading tools.
5. Record lectures directly from computers
There are lecture-capture tools that allow teachers to record lectures from their computers, without additional classroom equipment. Upload these recorded lectures for students to re-watch.
Studies have shown that posting recorded lectures won’t diminish attendance; rather, it provides students the opportunity to review lectures at their own speed.
6. Easily survey students during class
A quick and easy way for teachers to survey their students during class is the use of clickers and smartphones. These are excellent tools for instant polling which can assess students’ understanding in an instant so educators can properly adjust content and pace.
Learning with Technology
1. Students can learn at their convenience
No two students are the same. Integrating technology in the classroom will help students learn at a speed that is convenient to them. For instance, activities on laptops will allow students to read directions, process the information, and finish the work at their own pace. In turn, this allows teachers to guide students who might need extra help.
2. Supplementary resources
Search engines, educational apps, portable technologies, videos, and interactive activities will provide students with an infinite supply of resources and valuable information. There are tools that will support 24/7 learning.
3. Prepare children for the future
Children learn in school so they can be prepared for the future. Therefore, it is essential to integrate technology in the classroom. Expensive educational technology solutions do not always result in effective teaching and learning. There are different simple solutions that will lead to influential teaching that can have a huge impact on learning.
By learning how to use tech in the classroom at such a young age, children will surely develop the knowledge and skills that are essential not only today but in the future as well.
Without a doubt, integrating technology in the classroom will benefit both the teachers and students in various ways. Educational technology will complement what a good teacher does naturally. Simultaneously, it broadens student experience by taking them to places they might not otherwise be able to reach. So take advantage of the educational technologies that are easy to use and understand, inexpensive, and able to enhance teaching and learning today.
Manuel Rensink is a founding partner and acting CEO at Tchr. Before Tchr, Manuel was head of MENA at Morgan Stanley Capital International in Dubai and Head of EMEA in London at the analytics firm RiskMetrics Group – a JPMorgan spin-off. Manuel is a Dutch and Belgian national and holds an M.A. in Political Sciences from the University of Ghent.