As our world becomes more and more tech-reliant, teachers have the responsibility to educate students on how to use it effectively. Although some classrooms are still reluctant to fully embrace the new role of technology in the classroom; Holding fast to more “traditional” methods and not utilising technology can actually be a major setback, for students as well as teachers.
Of course, technology needs to be used wisely any time it enters the classroom or lesson plans. Using it as a crutch or distraction is never appropriate.
But, when used mindfully, technology in the classroom can absolutely revolutionise the education system, a fresh perspective that it has been needing for decades. According to Kayla Delzer, a third-grade teacher now well-known for her TEDx Talk on “Reimagining Classroom Teachers”, the only way to ensure students are successful in the future is to harness the power of technology; trying to keep it from them is a battle that has already been lost as technology and its devices are fully ingrained in society.
“If we block technology from them, we might actually be inhibiting them. We need to put them in dynamic, responsive environments at school so they can be successful later on,” Delzer says.
So what are some ways we can utilise technology, allowing it to be a tool rather than a distraction?
Here are 3 ideas that work for any grade
- Take full advantage of the technology available. As teachers, we’re not really “transforming” the classroom by using a laptop to project our lesson plan onto a larger screen. In order to fully embrace technology, you have to make technology do things that nothing else can. Augmented reality geometry lessons? That’s what using tech wisely is all about.
- Be an example of proper tech use. As a teacher, you also fill the role as mentor for all of the students in your classroom. You can use your role to teach students how to safely and wisely use the Internet, including “tech” rules that address things like cyberbullying in your class’s set of rules. At my school, we use Google Classroom everywhere. The kids love it and it saves paper. Try it! YouTube has lots of tutorials to help you.
- Make sure the technology is interactive. When you use technology in the classroom, it needs to offer ways that students can learn from themselves and their peers. Allowing students to become the teacher by using technology and demonstrating how it works is a great way to get everyone involved (and chances are, you’ll learn something, too!)
Using technology in the classroom
Technology isn’t something teachers should ignore. But, in order to make the most of it, it needs to be planned wisely, ensuring that any and all technology is beneficial for education and that it’s setting students up for success in all areas of their life, not just school.