What do you know about technology in the classroom? Kids these days are all about technology this, Facebook that, internet here, iPads there. How can a normal person keep up with all this invasive tech taking over our lives? Well, it’s simple. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
If you’re a parent who wants their kids growing up in an up-to-date environment, tech in the classroom is very important. If you’re a teacher, you may even want to implement some of these methods in your own classroom.
Whoever you are, you probably foresee a future where blackboards are replaced with interactive digital screens. Or where the countless books and notebooks are replaced with a single iPad, or a Mac. The fact is, that future is, to some extent, already here. This is the world around us, and it is illogical to prevent it from evolving since we want the same from our children.
Schooling has remained largely the same for the whole of the last century, but now it’s changing. At an exponential speed, depending directly on the evolution of technology. It seems that soon enough, schools will catch up and begin using new devices as soon as they are widely available.
Technology has become an integral part of everyone’s life. Why not use it for school?
Just imagine Apple launching the next iPad, and just the next day your kid’s school receiving a shipment of the new devices for the whole class!
The Benefits of Technology in the Classroom
Do you know how to use technology in the classroom? In the sections below, we will be looking at the pros and cons of technology in the classroom. If you’re a teacher, than all of these should come as possible ideas to apply in the class. If you’re a parent, ask yourself how many of these happen at your child’s school, and maybe even suggest a few to the teacher.
Bringing tech to the school can improve students’ responsiveness.
There are many digital ways in which one can up the attention of the kids in the class. Why don’t you try making power-point presentations for your lessons? I know, they’re still so last decade, but why not try one? This could be extremely useful especially if you don’t really understand technology. It’s an easy way to engage with the children. Just search Google for power point classroom samples and from there on it should be easy.
Technology in the classroom improves collaboration between teachers.
Some teachers may not be experts in technology, but may still want to use it for the curricular activities. To do this, it’s good to approach the computer teacher of the school. You know, that IT guy none of the conventional teachers actually understands. You may be surprised at how helpful he can be when given a task. This way, teachers can avoid the situations in which half of the class time is wasted trying to make everything work.
Teachers can ask kids for help with devices.
A nice trick, if technology is so out of your league, is to employ a classroom Genius. Let him help you with everything having to do with assistive technology in the classroom. Also, tell the others that if they want, they can make videos, slideshows, and other digital materials for other classes. He will always be there to help. You can pick the tech Genius easily, everyone with the know-how is perfect. If you want to go further with this method, employ a Genius Deputy, who can change on a rotation basis every day. This will encourage learning about tech and cooperation between classmates.
Facebook is the perfect tool for keeping in touch with kids in class.
Using tech makes everything much more user-friendly.
Kids will love it! Instead of having the grade-book stuck in the classroom, take it into the online medium! There are a lot of online websites that are made precisely for this reason, so go ahead. Also, make a Facebook group for your class(for those above the legal age, or for parents), or if they already have one, try to get in. Leaving materials or reminders for the class there can bring kids to actually do their homework this time. Also, if you’re a teacher and see a snide comment about yourself, don’t be typical! Try to pitch in with a funny remark and it will likely label you as the cool teacher. Everyone wants that. Just don’t encourage this too much, be stark and decisive when, and if, it gets out of hand.
Email the kids in the classroom.
Teachers can have private, productive conversations with the kids in their class via email. If you’re a teacher and you see a promising essay or test paper from one of your students, don’t hesitate to give him or her an email. Talk about the specifics of the paper! “I really like how you…” followed by “would you like to study this further?” could go a really long way for someone who has no idea what he or she is good at. You could end up inspiring the future space engineers, or astronauts, or maybe even future Literature Nobel Prize winners!
The Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom
Kids like to play games. It’s not rocket science that a kid can use the iPad in his hands to play Candy Crush Saga instead of reading the materials you have given to them. This all goes down to how well that kid can self-discipline himself. Most kids don’t, so it would be a good idea to look out for them in the classroom, if you are a teacher.
Don’t let the kids do what they want in class – they will take advantage of that.
Kids are tech experts in the making.
Many children, in most classrooms, are so accustomed to iPads and other electronic devices that they can easily trick the teacher into thinking that they are actually studying, when in fact they have that new addictive game hidden in the background. You should check for this if you see that the student is not paying attention.
Kids are not exactly alway nice.
This can be the fatal blow for a teacher trying to implement cool new methods in the classroom. Sometimes kids may apparently encourage the teachers, but then go on and make mocking fun of them behind their backs. This is extremely rude, and it’s often the reason for why teachers quit trying technology in the classroom. If you happen to be in this situation, try another approach. Gather the students in your class that actually value your efforts and show the misbehavers that they are the odd ones out, not you.
All in all, integrating technology in the classroom is a good way to improve learning experience, but be sure that it is actually useful, and that the kids don’t use it for bad things. Try applying this at your school, or give a hint to the teachers at your children’s school. It might be for the benefit of everyone to invest time into a technologized classroom.