The Importance of Using Technology in the Classroom
Estimated reading time: 10 Minutes
Technology is all around us today. It is intermingled in almost everything that we do. It effects how we live and learn. With mobile and wireless devices becoming an industry requirement, it is a no-brainer that schools should be effectively employing the use of this technology. Many schools have a difficult time strategizing how to implement technology in the classroom or if they even should. Possibly they’re on the fence about certain mobile devices because they feel they hinder the students’ learning or maybe schools want to deploy these devices, but their Wi-Fi networks are not capable of properly supporting the technology.
Does the Use of Technology Hinder Student Learning?
When technology is integrated into lessons, students are inclined to be more interested in the subjects they are studying. Technology provides different opportunities to make learning more fun and interactive for them. This can be done by using learning games, Kahoot quizzes and more! Technology can sprout a more active participation in the learning process, which is hard to achieve through a traditional lecture scenario.
Students who are interested in the things they are learning are expected to have better knowledge retention. As stated before, technology can help to foster participation in the classroom which is a huge factor for increased knowledge retention. You can always experiment with different forms of technology to decide what works best for your students in terms of sparking their interest and thereby improving their retention..
Not all students learn the same way because of different learning styles and different abilities. Technology provides great opportunities for making learning more effective for each individual student. For example, students can learn at their own speed, review concepts they’re having a difficult time understanding or skip ahead if they need to. Technology can also provide more opportunities for struggling or disabled students. For economically disadvantaged students, the classroom may be the only time they have access to technology which will help them in their future. Access to the internet gives students access to a broad range of resources to learn the way they need to learn.
Students can practice teamwork skills by getting involved in different online activities. Students working on different projects can collaborate with others on forums or share their working documents. Technology can encourage collaboration with students in the same classroom and even with other classrooms around the world.
Both teachers and students can develop skills essential for the 21stcentury. If used correctly, mobile devices and the applications they support, will help prepare students for their future careers. Modern learning is about collaborating with others, solving complex problems, critical thinking, developing different forms of communication and leadership skills, and improving motivation and productivity. Technology can also help develop many practical skills, including creating presentations, learning to differentiate reliable from unreliable sources on the internet, maintaining proper online etiquette, and writing emails. Another important note is that technology connects us to places all over the world. Using technology in the classroom can create cross-cultural understanding. These are very important skills that can be developed in the classroom. For more information on skills students should master in the 21stcentury check out Battelle For Kids.
Teachers can Benefit
With the countless online resources, technology can help improve teaching. Smart phones are readily available in the classroom, students are able to access the most up-to-date information from a teacher quicker and easier than ever before. Teachers can take online professional development courses like those on this website! Teachers can also use different apps or trusted blogs to enhance the traditional ways of teaching and to keep students more engaged. Virtual lesson plans, grading software, and online assessments can help teachers save a lot of time. This valuable time can be used to working with struggling students.
Supporting Technology with Your Network
One of the biggest mistakes schools make when deploying new devices into their classrooms, is not making sure their network infrastructure is up-to-date and/or sufficient enough to properly support their users. You don’t want to buy a bunch of new laptops and tablets only to find out your Wi-Fi can’t support the new devices.
It can seem like a scary and daunting task at first, but it is achievable. Using Wi-Fi as a Service, your school can have the exact wireless system it needs to support any technology plan it wants to implement. What is Wi-Fi as a Service? Wi-Fi as a Service is a service that combines three key elements: infrastructure, software, and management services. Whether it’s new tablets or BYOD (bring your own device), Wi-Fi as a Service enables schools of any size to successfully embrace technology and the mobile devices their students want and need. Check out this Planning Guide on how to maximize your K-12 Campus Wi-Fi.
There is ever growing evidence that technology integration positively affects student achievement and academic performance. The Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology(CARET) found that when used in collaborative learning methods, technology impacts achievement in content area learning, promotes higher order thinking and problem-solving skills, and prepares students for the workforce. If your school is still debating how technology can benefit your students, teachers and administrators, the future of education is already here and don’t miss an unbelievable amount of opportunities and integrate technology into the classroom.
Get started on your technology journey by checking out these online professional development courses:
Foundations of Teaching with Technology
Getting Googled – Your Students Will Never Lose Their Homework Again