Harnessing technology in the classroom
By Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin
Basics:technology in the classroom
Education should be fresh,new and exciting.And should definitely be kept that way.
Gone are the days when class meant the teacher reading in a droning,pedantic voice from the textbook.
These days, education means using technological boosts like the Internet and new software programs to add to a lesson.
Which is the greatest benefit of technology in the classroom?
Benefits of using technology in the classroom
Harnessing technology is essential for teachers if they wish to progress with their students in this day and age.
Technology,undoubtedly,has tremendous benefits to behold.
Modifying of student-teacher roles
With the use of technology,the student,rather than the teacher,decides the learning in the classroom. Students make active decisions in a technology based classroom rather than in a teacher-led one.
The teacher becomes the facilitator who sets tasks and guides students' learning. Technological tools play a large part in this because of their easy accessibility.
Increase in motivation
Motivation in students increases with the use of technology, especially with their heightened exposure to it in current times. This is seen in their willingness to work in subject areas they might not be otherwise drawn to. They also feel a sense of fulfillment when they are able to harness these tools effectively.Technology brings the present generation greater satisfaction because it brings them immediate results.
Enhanced technical skills
Students are more confident of using software applications,vital nowadays,if they are exposed to them early.Their higher order thinking skills are greatly enhanced.They are also able to perform complex tasks like making effective computer presentations and graphs with the help of technology.
Technology creates opportunities for collaborative learning among peers. Students can easily create presentations and performances in groups. The many sub tasks in the projects can easily be completed by each member if the group.
Attention to audience
Students pay more attention to the quality and design of their work because their work is being critiqued by their peers. Design consciousness makes them particular about what they present to their peers.
Increased use of resources
With technology,resources are easily available to students. Students can access information courtesy of technology.They can also harness technological tools i.e.mobile and satellite technology like never before.
Using technology in the classroom
Using technology:things educators should bear in mind
Using technology can be daunting for an educator.There are a few things schools and teachers can consider to make the process a little easier.
Make technology empowering.
Schools should use technology that empowers rather than daunts teachers. It's a burden on the educator to have to teach as well as master new sets of technological skills. Technology should not divert from instruction.
Technology should be part of the plan.
The lesson plan,that is. Teachers should factor technology into their lesson planning rather than see it as being a separate lesson component. That would make teaching tedious.
Technology isn't so hard to make use of.
While learning new ways to engage students is perplexing,things don't always have to be so complicated. Many forms of technology are easy to master and facilitate rather than complicate. Powerpoint, for instance,enhances a teaching presentation rather than distracts from it.
Making use of readily available technology in the classroom
Technology is waiting in the classroom's wings to be harnessed. Taking advantage of its easy accessibility makes the difference to a successful lesson.
So what's ready and waiting for an educator to tap into?
Lessons are droll and pedantic without the use of computers.Computers are a basic educational tool for the 21st Century.Whether it's the use of Microsoft Word to complete assignments,using PowerPoint to create effective presentations,it is a must for education.
Although often misunderstood for being the harbinger of bad influence on students,the Internet is a rich source of information when appropriately used. It's the educational norm to use it for Webquests and other research.
There's nothing more stimulating for a child of the present generation than an engaging video presentation. YouTube or Teachertube is a wonderful source of videos that teach and inspire,although the educator must take the trouble to surf for effective,purposeful ones. These can easily be played with an FLV Player.It's an easily accessible and welcome resource for any educator.
MP3s and MIDIs
Podcasts or recordings of students' voices can be a useful confidence building tool in the language and music classroom. Nothing stimulates learning more than hearing our own voices.
If you were a student in class, how would you like a teacher to use technology?
Using technology in the classroom
Teachers new to education or who find technology a little overwhelming may want to keep a bag of "technology" tricks in mind.Knowing a few delightful ways to use technology in the classroom motivates students to learn and is a great teaching thrill too.
A PowerPoint Game Show
using PowerPoint to create classroom versions of game shows can be a fun way to encourage students to remember facts.Historical trivia,geographical information and even mathematical formulae can be taught through a PowerPoint created game show.
Students can do PowerPoint presentations on any topic. It's a less pedantic way of learning and they get to practice TH presentation skills they'll need in instructions of higher learning and the world of work.
Creating an online dairy
Language teachers often use journal writing as a way to get students to practice writing. We are all familiar with blogs as online diaries, so why not encourage students to go digital with their journal writing? It's an up-to-date, creative and fun way to connect with students, and via comments and blog exchanges, for students to connect to one another.
Students can write short summaries of books are stories and tweet them. It's a great way for them to interact and learn, too.
Create a class blog
A class blog can be used to generate class spirit. With regular updates of class events, it serves as a newsletter than can be an educational way to connect. It can also feature students' work.
Younger students can practice simple letter writing skills via email.
Monitored emailing can be a good tool for collaborative learning as well. Students can be encouraged to start group discussions via a class email account.
Suggested uses of technology for elementary students
Youtube is a great source for educational videos to enhance presentations and student attention.
Students can be encouraged to create MP3 recordings of songs/performances
Students can use the internet to embark on webquests and searches for information.
Powerpoint presentations can be used to teach topics like graphs,geometry and algebra
Online photo editors/Photoshop
Students can use such editiors to create photo collages or digital photo albums as a simple art project.
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