By Teachers, For Teachers
As we sail through the 21st century, technology in the classroom is becoming more and more predominant. Tablets are replacing our textbooks, and we can research just about anything that we want to on our smartphones. Social media has become commonplace, and the way we use technology has completely transformed the way we live our lives.
Educators, too, have seen firsthand the benefits of technology in the classroom. They also recognize the importance of developing these technological skills in students so they will be prepared to enter the workforce once they complete their schooling.
The impact that technology has had on today’s schools has been quite significant. This widespread adoption of technology has completely changed how teachers teach and students learn. Teachers are learning how to teach with emerging technologies (tablets, Smart Boards, digital cameras, computers), while students are using advanced technology to shape how they learn. By embracing and integrating technology in the classroom, we are setting our students up for a successful life outside of school. Here are a few benefits of using technology in the classroom.
Students prefer technology because they believe that it makes learning more interesting and fun. They especially like laptops and tablets. Subjects that students deem challenging or boring can become more interesting with virtual lessons, through a video, or when using a tablet.
Many students believe that using technology in the classroom will help prepare them for the digital future. These 21st-century skills are essential in order to be successful in this day and age. Jobs that may not have had a digital component in the past may have one now. Education isn’t just about memorizing facts and vocabulary words, it’s about solving complex problems and being able to collaborate with others in the workforce. Ed-tech in the classroom prepares students for their future and sets them up for this increasingly digital economy.
Students also believe that technology helps them retain information better. These students may be on to something. 18 second grade students were challenged to complete a Power Point project about an animal. 16 out of the 18 students remembered more facts about the animal after completing the presentation. These results show that technology indeed helps students remember what they learn.
Today’s technology enables students to learn at their own pace. For example, almost all apps allow for individualized instruction. Students can learn according to their abilities and needs. This form of teaching is also great for the teacher because it gives them the time to work individually with students who may be struggling.
Technology occupies an important place within students’ lives. When they are not in school, just about everything that they do is connected in some way to technology. By integrating technology into the classroom, teachers are changing the way they used to teach (lectures for six hours a day) and providing students with the tools that will take them into the 21st century.
Technology changes by the minute, and as educators, we need to keep up with the times in order to best prepare our students for this ever-changing world that we live in. While we just saw how integrating technology into the classroom has its benefits, it’s important to note that traditional learning processes are just as essential. Take time to learn about each element of ed-tech that you will incorporate into your classroom. When you do, you will find that technology can have a profound impact on your students’ learning.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.