Technology in the classroom: Benefits and best practices
Technology touches nearly every aspect of life, including educational pursuits. Today, students of all ages are getting an early start when it comes to advanced digital tools, making for an increasingly tech-savvy world.
Now, it’s more important than ever for pupils to learn with the help of technological assets. This is only possible when an institution has the right tools in place alongside dedicated educators to help foster their use.
“Classroom technologies enable students to more effectively and efficiently work together.”
Even when technological investments are made, though, integrating these into the curriculum is often easier said than done. Thankfully, once school administrators and teachers understand the benefits that technology can bring to a classroom setting, there are a few simple ways to incorporate these skills to students.
Top advantages: Why use technology in the classroom?
Whether it comes in the form of arming each student with a laptop or using presentation software as a teaching aid, technology in school offers numerous advantages:
- Prepping for the future: It’s a fact of life that cannot be ignored – at one point or another in their lives, young individuals will need to interface with technology. Whether this takes place during higher education or at a future place of employment, it’s crucial that students are prepared to use the advanced tools they will be expected to understand in the future.
In fact, a recent CompTIA study found that 90 percent of all students felt that technology use in today’s classrooms would help ensure readiness for the future, Teachhub reported.
“Jobs that may not have had a digital component in the past, may have one now,” Teachhub contributor Janelle Cox wrote. “Education isn’t just about memorizing facts and vocabulary words, it’s about solving complex problems and being to (sic) collaborate with others in the workforce. Ed-tech in the classroom prepares students for their future and sets them up for this increasing digital economy.”
- Helping to build collaboration skills: Many classroom technologies enable students to more effectively and efficiently work together, helping them foster critical collaboration skills that will come into play at multiple important junctures later in life. This is particularly true when students have different skill levels. Research from the U.S. Department of Education found that technology can help support peer tutoring, mentoring and collaboration among pupils, Capella University reported.
- Boosting retention rates: Besides engaging students and helping them remain active in their learning, technology has also been found to assist in the retention of difficult concepts. Lessons supported by digital presentations or other technologies can help students better grasp new facts and enable them to remember this information, Cox noted.
- Learning on their level: Technology has also proven to be an effective way to connect with students via a platform that they are familiar with, especially when it comes to older pupils. Today’s youth uses an increasing amount of technology – many even have their own smartphones and laptops. Using technology to teach helps students better connect with the material in a way that supports their preferences.
Incorporating technology into classroom learning
Technology like computers and educational software can offer numerous possibilities for classroom use. Tech-savvy educators have found that there are a few impactful ways teachers can incorporate these tools into their classroom lessons:
- Multimedia presentations: PowerPoint is a key element of classroom learning, and is a powerful tool when used by both teachers and students. As noted, presentation software like this helps pupils retain more information. What’s more, slideshows can offer beneficial study material before a test.
In addition to preparing presentations themselves, teachers can also assign projects to students that require the creation of a digital slideshow. This will help pupils brush up on their technology skills as they interface with PowerPoint or another leading presentation software.
- Educational video clips: Educational videos can help supplement lessons in multiple ways, as well as support visual learners. There are numerous platforms today that provide access to classroom-approved content – YouTube, for example, has several educational channels that match up with the top subjects being taught as well as the different age levels of students.
- Class website: Teachhub contributor Kim Haynes suggested creating a website for the class as a collaborative project. This can be a more basic project, where students’ work is published and accessible to the class. In more advanced settings, students can work to create the underlying code that powers the site, helping them to achieve a group goal while gaining new computing skills.
- Discussion board: Teachers have also found online whiteboards or discussion boards helpful in fostering technological skills as well as participation and collaboration. Teachers can create the boards and specific topics, enabling students to go online and become a part of the discussion. Here, pupils are able to see the real-time responses of their fellow students, as well as responses from the teacher.
- Online simulations: The technological resources available online are absolutely staggering. Emerging Ed Tech contributor Kelly Walsh noted that among these are online simulations that can help students practice a range of skills, from marketing and business to statistics and economics. These simulations and online games also make great alternatives to paper worksheets.
- Guest lectures: Whether in the form of a streaming feed, podcast or video conference, technology can also help bring outside experts into the classroom.
Technology can take many forms within the classroom, but the important thing is that it’s present and being used to help students further their skills.
To find out more about the specific technological tools that your institution should have, contact iT1 Source today.