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Harnessing technology in the classroom

Updated on January 13, 2014
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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.

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Which is the greatest benefit of technology in the classroom?

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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.

Co-operative learning

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.

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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?

The Computer

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.

The Internet

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.

YouTube

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.

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If you were a student in class, how would you like a teacher to use technology?

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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.

PowerPoint Presentations

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.

tweeting summaries

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.

Email Exchanges

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

Subject Area
Suggested technology
Uses
Language
Youtube
Youtube is a great source for educational videos to enhance presentations and student attention.
Music
MP3 Podcasts
Students can be encouraged to create MP3 recordings of songs/performances
Humanities
Internet research
Students can use the internet to embark on webquests and searches for information.
Maths
Powerpoint presentations
Powerpoint presentations can be used to teach topics like graphs,geometry and algebra
Art
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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    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Using technology in the classroom

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and so very useful.

      Great work here and enjoy your day.

      eddy.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      These are great ideas! So often, we see technology used as a reward in the classroom, i.e. "get all your work done so you can go on the computer." What better learning would take place if more teachers incorporated technology into their teaching, and allowed students to use their time on technology for learning! Bravo!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very interesting hub, Michelle! When I was a teacher, I took a special course for computers in the classroom. One of my resposability was to teach new programs to the other teachers and make sure that all the network was working well. If there were any major problems than I called the technician. I must say that I had some funny request... the custodian unplugged the computers sometimes and the teachers didn't realize it so they complained to me that their computer didn't work (I always checked if it was plugged before calling the technician).... or the printer doesn't work.... but there was no paper.

      It was a responsability on top of my regular teaching class.

      But there was a perk that nobody realized. In June it can be sometimes quite hot in Ottawa and at that time the school had no air conditioning except the computer lab that was just beside my classroom. And because June school is almost over, the teachers didn't use the computers so often with their students. So on really hot days, I spent quite a lot of time with my students enjoying fresh air ;-)

      Anyway, I had a lot of fun having my students create a lot of projects with the computer : answering letters to Santa from the grade one students, creating crossword puzzles, creating a journal, etc. Other schools had a lab with robotic; I was not so lucky. It can be a great tool when it's well used!

      Thank you for sharing another great hub, Michelle! Very interesting and useful!

      Happy New Year to you and your family... and your dogs!

      PS : are you celebrating Chinese New Year?

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I know I could not even imagine what a class would be like today. I am sure it should be so very interesting though!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Harnessing technology in the classroom is a superb idea a well informed hub on this important subject.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Eddy! Glad to share!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Yes Denise, why not make use of technology to enhance learning...it'd be so fulfilling indeed! Thanks for sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is great! I am sure teachers will find this helpful. You outline everything so well, and I love the chart. Thanks for making technology in the classroom less scary, too!

    • profile image

      pochinuk 3 years ago

      Midget38,

      Well done.

      Your words mobilize education in a positive direction. I like that!

      The use of technology has channeled a revolution in education that is not demeaning to the lower class and augmenting the resources found in the upper class. This is more than a trend. It's a lifestyle of learning. Inclusion of all people at all walks of life is globally available through technology , even without a building.

      I remember as a small girl, playing "School"- we never were concerned about a building. We just sat on the grass, the porch, in a houseroom and got the paper the pencils and "talked school."

      Your hub offers alternative thoughts where others would rather think on "our schools are crumbling." You have used words like "increasing", "enhancing", "benefits", "cooperative"in what you believe will assist education.

      Your hub has a lovely focus on student( what they want to learn) and teacher (who can help them learn) the center core of all education.

      Applauded,

      Christine

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Technology can be a blessing, Kidscrafts! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      It is...very different, yet interesting! Thanks, Jackie!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, DDE!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Glad to share, Rebecca!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for the wise words...education should be student focused, while addressing a teacher's concerns.

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