Classrooms have changed dramatically in the past decade. Lessons have gone from chalkboard to whiteboard to smart board. Technology has become rooted in modern culture, and it is here to stay. As society becomes more technology based and globally connected, the importance of integrating technology into the classroom becomes paramount. Educators need technology in the classrooms because it enhances learning, teaches modern life skills and empowers students.
A Few Applications
One of the foremost benefits of incorporating technology into the classroom is the ability to enhance learning. One method of incorporating technology is known as flip-learning, and it includes creating online lessons that students watch at home so that more time is devoted in class to answering questions and collaborative work. Furthermore, teachers are using technology to connect students to other classrooms around the world, making learning more tangible and diverse. According to a survey of 500 teachers across the country by CompTIA, technology has improved how students learn and made the learning process more effective, with 78 percent of K-12 teachers and administrators reporting technology has had a positive impact and improved student productivity.
Real Life Skills
Technology in the classroom not only enhances learning, but it also teaches students the necessary skills that are needed to thrive in a modern world. More jobs require skills in technology so the need for a trained workforce is growing. Some of these skills include creative applications and knowing how to use technology responsibly. By integrating technology in the educational process, students will learn these skills in an environment that prepares them for future opportunities. Students are living in a 21st-century world outside of school, and educators should reflect that in the classroom.
A great benefit of technology in the classroom is the empowerment it can give students. With a variety of new tools such as social media and the internet, students are exposed to more forms of self-expression and validation. Now, students can share their projects with a global audience and gain a stronger sense of independence and responsibility. Technology gives teachers more options when designing lesson plans, and students have more choices in how to reach their learning objective.
How to Incorporate Technology in the Classroom
Technology’s presence will continue to expand as its importance grows. Incorporating technology into the classroom shouldn’t be delayed. It can be implemented by following a few important guidelines. In an article for USA Today, Laura McMullen writes that it’s important to plan ahead when using technology in the classroom. First, outline the learning objectives, then see how technology can be used to enhance the final outcome. Second, it’s important for teachers to try something new and be open to new ideas. Lastly, teachers should see themselves on the forefront of a new field as educational designers in charge of designing a student’s learning path.
With technology, new tools now abound that allow teachers to individualize instruction and design lessons that will best meet their students’ needs. One great way that teachers can utilize these technological tools include creating a class blog or wiki on a subject under study. Students can take charge of different content areas and be responsible for publishing and updating content. While keeping the benefits of technology and the guidelines for responsible use in mind, there are myriad ways that you can improve your classroom.
Erika Phyall currently works in community relations for University of Southern California Rossier School of Education’s online master’s programs. USC Rossier Online provides individuals the opportunity to get a teacher certification with masters and various degree options such as an online masters in special education degree. Outside of work Erika enjoys networking, DIY projects, and spending time with her two dogs.