Technology is a powerful tool for teachers. It can help them get their students engaged, increase student participation, and provide new ways to teach. However, many teachers are still hesitant about using technology in the classroom because they don’t know how to use it or they feel that it will be too difficult for them to learn. This 3 part top education blog post will talk about 3 different ways that you can break down this barrier between teachers and technology!
Technology in the classroom is a hotly debated topic.
Some people are quick to point out that a teacher should not need technology because it will take away from time used for instruction, or even make teaching obsolete (The 3 things I want my teachers to know about education). Other proponents of educational technology believe that this lack of technological access may be depriving our students and educators an opportunity for increased learning, innovation, creativity and student engagement (Why EdTech Matters: 3 Ways It’s Changing Education Forever).
It seems like there are two very different opinions on how technology can affect classrooms; either taking up too much instructional time and potentially making teaching less effective, or being beneficial by allowing students more opportunities for learning as well as providing engaging content.
Tablets make it easy for kids to interact with their teachers and classmates. Here are just a few of the ways that your students can take advantage of using tablets in class!
- Student response systems (via PollTeach)
- Learning games such as Kahoot, Quizlet, or Jeopardy Review Games
- Digital textbooks from Bookboon or Schoology, where they can access all assigned materials through an app on their tablet computers.
These digital textbooks allow them to highlight text, point out keywords, write notes directly onto pages and more. Plus since everything is saved digitally you’ll never have any issues with lost books again!
- Planning lessons using an interactive whiteboard that is projected onto the screen and students can use their tablets to give you feedback.
- Classroom magazines or newspapers where they can submit articles about what’s on their mind in a safe, controlled environment .
- Students can also use their tablets to take photos, videos, or create 3D pictures.
Use a Digital Assistant
The digital assistant, or “chatbot,” can be used in classrooms by simply typing out questions into Google’s chat window. It will answer instantly with an explanation of what it knows about that subject area and then provide resources related to your question from its database. The chatbot can also connect you with experts who work on specific topics relating to math instruction, English language arts teaching strategies etcetera. This allows you to get advice for your classroom from people who are just as passionate about teaching, and even more knowledgeable on the subject matter at hand.
Try New Tools for Short Sessions at First
It’s generally recommended that teachers try out new tools in short sessions first before going all-in with them. This is a great way to see if they will work for you or not without feeling like it was too much of an investment up front. Plus, this allows you time to learn how each tool functions so that when you do go full bore into using it, there won’t be any bumps in the road along the way!
Communicate with Tech Professionals as Friends, not Just Colleagues
Communicating with tech professionals doesn’t have to feel like such hard work either; one can invite experts over coffee or lunch or reach out through Facebook messages. This way the technology professional can feel less like just a colleague and more like a friend. They might share some helpful tips with you or your students to get the most out of their new tools.