When I think about the pros of technology, I think a lot about how much more engagement I see in my students when using technology tools and the positive feedback from them. I witness a lot more focus, interest, willingness and motivation to get started right away, remain on task, and complete the task at hand. There will always be students who are distracted by YouTube or their devices, but I always feel their excitement during educational technology tasks compared to teacher led, or independent student learning. This is what motivates me to keep planning lessons that include technology.
There are so many articles available that support educational technology, so it is my job to take the information and learn first hand whether or not it might be beneficial to the group of students I have in my classroom. According to the article, “7 Benefits of Educational Technology in the Education Sphere,”
The future of the educational system is practically determined by the development of technology.
The teaching strategies based on educational technology can be described as ethical practices that facilitate the students’ learning and boost their capacity, productivity, and performance. Technology integration in education inspires positive changes in teaching methods on an international level.
#4. Thanks to technology, students enjoy learning!
Students are addicted to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Digg, and other websites from a very early age. The internet can distract them from the learning process, but you can also use their inclination to spend time online for a good purpose: Making learning enjoyable.
My students are connected to technology in their daily lives in some way or another. It is definitely a learning curve to have to introduce them to the inclusion of technology as a learning tool if they are not used to using it in school, but as I explained earlier, I see a lot of enthusiasm, engagement and eagerness to use technology and share what they have learned using Google Slides, Google Classroom, blog posts on Blogger, sharing work on Class Dojo, or creating an iMovie or WeVideo.
The students I interact with each day have grown up with smart devices, having been entertained instantly with videos, movies, games, sounds, visuals, etc. It isn’t a surprise to me that they are connected and drawn to Chromebooks, and iPads when we use them in class.
Technology is certainly here to stay and as the poster says, “The Future is Tech, Get Ready!”
So, it is my job to keep an open mind to new ideas and opportunities, to try something new with my students and to deepen their understanding and motivation for learning the best way I know how.
Reading this article and watching this video from the article; “10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in Education,” shares a couple of different perspectives (as well as common ones).
1. Parent’s Peace of Mind
Cell phones allow easy access for parents and children to communicate with each other at school too.
2. The Information Highway
Any answer to any question can be found with a few clicks of the keys on the computer or smart phone.
3. Broaden The Mind
Having access to the technology will expose children to things outside of their parents interests and help them to form their own opinions.
4. Brings Some Fun Into The Classroom
“Learning the same exact way from the same person every day can really get…boring,” which results in a real lack of motivation. “When they are able to integrate computer learning into their normal schedule, they become much more excited to learn.”
5. Applicable Education
In the working world, in nearly every job you may take, you have to know how to operate a computer. Teaching this skill in children early will give them advantages and a learning curve for when they are adults.
Each one of these 5 perspectives make sense and are common points of view. As a teacher, having to compete with technology devices is no easy task, so jumping on board is the logical solution, even though it is often challenging and full of obstacles.
The following video really showcases an interesting perspective from children about what “Technology is, how people learned before the internet, technology these students use in their daily learning, and what technology will look like in the future. Very entertaining video for sure!
It is hard to believe that these students are guessing and unsure about how we learned before the internet. “I think they had to go to the library, ” They read books,” etc. Interesting responses for sure!
There are so many amazing ways that technology can improve students learning, and yet at the same time it can be challenging. I have found that my students have more success when we try a new technology tool, it is best to start small (a daily lesson or a shorter project that takes 2 or 3 lessons). Once my students are familiar with that tool, we can move on to a more in depth project. One step at a time!
Next year, I will continue to build a blended learning environment. It will take some time, especially if I follow a model like the one I shared in last weeks blog post”3 Essentials for Success in a Blended Learning Classroom,” but I already have a great foundation and I see the benefits for/in my students every day. This is the way it has to be for our students who are growing up in a digital world.
In closing, I want to share Jessie Woolley-Wilson’s Ted Talk about the divide in education based on a student’s zip code and the decline in funding for education. This reality has narrowed her determination to provide quality education no matter what zip code a child has. Jessie shares a story about a California teacher who shifted to blended learning using an Adaptive Technology that “learns the learner as the learner learns!” Based on the individual student, the software determines what lesson the student needs to support their learning based on previous answers given. Sounds great to me!
What technology tools do you really like? What technology tools work best for you and your students? Is there a technology tools or software that you continuously use?