No matter what students dream of doing when they grow up, chances are great they will need to use technology once they enter the professional world. The sooner they start using technological tools for more than just amusement, the better prepared they will be for the world awaiting them once they leave school.
While students today have grown up around technology, many of them have never used it for anything more than sending their friends a text message or playing video games. They aren’t aware how to approach many common business practices using technology including how to best write an email to a business associate.
Starting them off in school with these tools will lead to a greater understanding of the power of these tools as well as fewer faux-pas once they have entered the working world. While it may seem absurd to some, there are some students who are just as afraid of technology as adults. For these students, introducing tech tools in a familiar environment, such as the classroom, will reduce the stress related to learning how to use them.
There are many ways to introduce technology to the classroom. The most effective often involve technology that is seamlessly integrated into classroom procedures and assignments, so that students don’t even realize they are using technology to complete a task.
Have teachers use videos to demonstrate concepts and then offer the videos to students for later review. By encouraging students to access the digital content their teacher uses in class, students will learn the material as well as how to accomplish basic tech tasks.
Another option is to have students type an assignment and email it to their teacher instead of handing in a physical copy. In this manner, they will gain basic typing and emailing skills as well as learn how to communicate via email.
For a more obvious approach, encourage students to bring their devices to class, or distribute school devices to students for use in class. Have students conduct research using these devices and have teachers integrate them into their lessons. With this approach, students become familiar with using devices and technology for everyday tasks and are able to learn how to focus with these tools.
It has been said that 65% of today’s teens will end up in careers that haven’t even been invented yet. For these students, technology will be a key factor in their ability to succeed in the workplace, and for those entering careers that exist currently, basic computer skills will take them far. We need to start preparing students for the roles they will play once they leave school by immersing them in technology every day.