As technology advances, it can be difficult to keep up and adapt to the advancements in both our personal and professional lives. Teachers have an especially important role to play in technological advancements, as incorporating technology in the classroom can be both a learning tool for students and a teaching tool for the instructor. Kids seem to be adapting to the rapid advancements in technology better than many adults, and they actually embrace it. For this reason, incorporating technology in teaching is a great way to increase a child’s interest in learning.
There are numerous ways that teachers can use technology in the classroom and many are already doing it. Some districts use interactive Smart Boards in place of traditional chalk or white boards in their classroom. These flat screen monitors are networked with the teacher’s classroom computer and the school’s internet connection. Interactive lessons in math, spelling, science and other subjects can be put on screen for students to participate in. The boards use touch screen technology and in some cases, kids are given handheld remote “clickers” that act as controllers for answering questions presented on screen.
Many school districts have made it easy for teachers to use technology in the classroom with supportive technology departments and funding, but others are still behind for budget reasons. In those cases, teachers can still use technology in more unconventional ways. Some teachers encourage middle and high school students to sign up for email updates or text message alerts to receive homework assignments and reminders for tests and projects. Many kids respond well to these types of communications and thus, respond better to the assignments themselves.
Educational book publishers have also jumped on board the proverbial technological bandwagon by making books available online and interactive activities that supplement the curriculum being taught. Many teachers take advantage of these supplemental activities by permitting kids to go online during class to complete them or encouraging children to visit the publisher’s websites and complete the activities at home. Similarly, many of these ancillary websites, as well as other computer software, allow teachers to track their students’ progress and understanding of material.
Most classrooms today provide access to computers and other sources of technology. Incorporating that technology in the classroom and daily lesson plans can be a challenge for many teachers, as they must choose the most efficient means of delivering a lesson and the assignments that reinforce it while staying on target with imposed standards. However, many teachers are finding that once they incorporate technology in the classroom, it benefits their students by engaging them in ways they are familiar with and enjoy, which ultimately makes their job easier.