By Teachers, For Teachers
Technology in the classroom has made it quite easy for teachers to do their job. Technology in the classroom makes the tedious tasks get done quicker, and keeps our students motivated and engaged longer. However, it’s important to find the right balance between actually physically teaching our students and using technology in the classroom.
There’s one main component that us teachers hope that will never go away -- “Us,” the teachers. If you fast-forward ten years, you may think that virtual teachers may be replacing us, but if you’re scared you may lose your job, may I remind you that someone has to be behind that computer. Teachers are the backbone to education, and while we may benefit from using technology in our classrooms, we are still very much needed and a crucial part of the learning process. Technology is just another way to engage our students, not replace us.
Our job as the instructor is to find the right balance between teaching the students and using technology. Here are a few ways to make sure we can find a nice balance between them both.
One way a balance can be made between teaching students and using technology is to make sure you use technology to enhance your lesson, not be the key component of your lesson. Computer games, digital textbooks, tablets, videos, podcasts, blogs, and the Internet can all be used to complement your lessons. Utilize these new technological advances to help students be able to adapt to this technological world that we live in, without having them be the center of your lesson. For example, you can lecture about algorithms, then have students practice them through the use of technology.
Another way that the technology and teaching balance can be met is by experimenting to find the right balance that works for you and your students. For some, incorporating technology into the classroom is an easy feat, while to others, it can be a bit more difficult. Ultimately, it’s up to you as the teacher to determine how much “Teaching” versus how much “Technology” that you want to use in the classroom.
Educators have always found it difficult to meet the needs of all of their students at the same time because they are just one person, and differentiating learning at a variety of different levels takes time. However, when you have technology to help you meet the needs of all learners, then it becomes much easier. There are apps and computer programs that can help students at every level while still teaching or reviewing the same concept or skill. Technology makes it easy for students to all be learning the same thing at the same time, yet at a different level.
As teachers, we want to best prepare our students for the 21st century, so that’s why we read everything we can about the latest tech tools, and try to incorporate them into our lessons. We do this because we’ve heard time and time again how technology can enrich the lives of our students and make learning an even better experience for our students. Considering that technology plays a huge role in our everyday lives, it’s not surprising that we do this. However, in order to find a good balance between teaching and using technology, we have to try and unplug every now and then. By doing so we can give our students a great learning experience through group work, field trips, games, and other traditional teaching methods. One thing that technology lacks is interpersonal communication. When we disconnect from technology every now and then, we are able to give our students the opportunity to connect with their peers on another level.
The bottom line is that a teacher’s job is to teach, and technology has the ability to help enhance the way that we do that. When you blend the two together, you can get some amazing results from your students. Overall, it’s a balancing act and you, the teacher, have to decide how much or little you want to intertwine technology into your teaching methods.
How do you balance teaching with technology in the classroom? Please share your thoughts on the topic in the comment section below, we would love to hear what you have to say.
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 Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.