By Teachers, For Teachers
Technology in the classroom has become a huge part of all of our lives. It’s hard to keep up with all of the new must-have tech tools that are available. Teachers are now finding it harder and harder to ignore the fact that technology in the classroom has become an essential. With the Common Core State Standards requiring it, and science-based research supporting it, it’s become imperative that teachers include it into their everyday curriculum.
The good news is that we are finally at a place where we have the technology at our disposal. Teachers can now incorporate technology-based lessons which have been proven to increase student motivation as well as build the skills that necessary for our students’ future.
Here are a few ideas on how to integrate technology in the classroom. These ideas can be used in any classroom, regardless of the subject or content.
A classroom website is an excellent way to stay in contact with your students and communicate with parents. It not only keeps you organized and saves you time, but it also helps students develop those 21st century skills that that they will so need for the future. A class website allows you to include classroom assignments, course information, classroom photographs, study links, classroom presentations, and so much more.
Challenge students to use a variety of digital media to compete a multimedia presentation. Encourage students to use graphics, audio, video, or whatever else they would like to complete the task. A PowerPoint Presentation is a great choice for younger students.
Learning about the planets? Take your students on a virtual field trip to another galaxy. Looking for ways to have your students visit the world? Go to Reachtheworld.org and you can travel the world while educating your student’s right from their seats! There are endless possibilities on the Internet, and just think no permission slips or funds are needed.
WebQuests are a thing of the past, but are still known to engage students and fulfill the skills that they need. WebQuests can range from a single Internet-based activity to a longstanding project that may take a few weeks. You can find a WebQuest online or create your own. They are a fun way for students to use their higher-order thinking skills.
The Common Core State Standards require that students use a word processing application to write, edit, and print their assignment. Students can use any basic word processing software to fulfill this requirement. These computer software products will not only teach students the technology skills that is required, but it will also make their task easier to complete.
Connect students with other children their age with sites like The Global Classroom Project. Students can virtually connect, learn, and share online with other students from across the globe. It’s a fantastic way for children to physically see, hear, and speak with other children that they are learning about in their textbooks.
Challenge students to weekly online extra credit activities. Each week provide your students with a URL that directs them to a word problem, higher-order thinking skills question, or a puzzle to figure out.
Incorporate online news stories into your curriculum. While discussing current events, allow students to search online for international or national news stories that correlate with your discussion. The CNN website is an excellent choice for students.
Integrating technology in the classroom allows you to prepare your students to live in this technology-savvy world that we live in. By implementing this strategies you are preparing your learners to thrive in the 21st century, which will only help them become that much more proficient in society.
How do you integrate technology into your lessons and classroom? Do you have specific strategies that you use? Share with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.
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.