By Teachers, For Teachers
It is undeniable that technology is everywhere. It has become intertwined in just about everything that we do and there is no escaping it. It affects how we shop, how we pay our bills, how we connect to people, and even how we use technology in the classroom to learn. If you were born in the 1920s or ‘30s, then you may have a real problem learning how to navigate today’s world. Long gone are the days of even picking up a telephone to talk, because in today’s society everyone would rather text or e-mail someone to communicate.
With increasing presence of technology in the classroom, it is no surprise that schools all over the country are implementing the latest gadgets. However, there are still a few reluctant school districts and educators who are delaying this imminent tool.
Here are the top ten reasons why teachers should implement technology in the classroom today.
There is no denying that educational technology is in our future, and as technology grows and becomes better, we must all grow with it. By embracing it now, as well as keeping up with its rapid developments, you are helping to prepare your students for their future. Just imagine what education will be like in ten years, or even 20 years. If classrooms are using tablets and iPads, and connecting to other countries through facetime and Skype, just imagine what the future will hold for them.
Technology allows teachers to be able to differentiate their student’s education. Through computer programs and tablets, teachers can ensure that all students are engaged in the learning process by providing tasks that match each individual’s needs. Without technology, differentiated instruction takes a lot of planning, but with technology teachers can easily accommodate all children’s learning styles.
These days, most 3-year-olds know how to use a mobile device better than adults do. Teachers looking to implement more technology in the classroom will find that their students will probably already know how to use it, some more than others. Since the future means more technology, then it’s wise for your students to become more technologically dependent.
Studies show that the ability to collaborate is going to be more important in the future than content knowledge. Teachers can use technology to promote collaboration and team work by connecting students with other students across the globe. For example, classroom pen pals are now ePals, where students can connect and work with other students who live in another zip code.
Long gone are the days that students who sit in the back of the classroom didn’t want to speak or be part of the lesson. When technology is implemented, these students are excited to participate because it is fun and engaging. Technology comes easy to many children, so these students feel like they finally have someone to say, and they like having their voice heard.
Technology in the classroom means that teachers are able to step out of their traditional “Leader” role and become more of a “Guide” or “Advisor” for their students. The teacher becomes an encourager and a guide as he or she allows the students to take over for some of their learning.
Technology enables students to take learning into their own hands, in the sense that they are able to learn to think for themselves. For example, if a teacher gave students an assignment to complete an app for their homework, the student would be in control of their own learning. They would be in charge of how they learn within that app.
Technology enables students to have access to all current information. Textbooks have to constantly be updated, while digital tools are updated daily and even sometimes up to the very minute. This current information is easily available at any time for students.
While textbooks have been a staple in traditional classrooms for centuries, they can get quite costly when you have to buy the updated version every year or two. Digital textbooks are bright and colorful and loaded with up-to-date information. They last for years and years and are much more engaging than old paper textbooks.
Think about what most students do when they get out of school. They either text their friends, listen to music on their iPod, or play video games. They do these things because they are fun. All of these things require technology. Technology makes learning fun, and when students are having fun while learning, it can’t get better than that.
Technology is the future of education. You either jump on the bandwagon today and implement it into your classroom, or get lost in the crosshairs. It is important to keep up with the ever-changing technology as well as with your students.
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.