You might be asking, what are the benefits of technology in the classroom? It’s fair to say that when I was in school, the use of technology in the classroom wasn’t widespread. There were no personal laptops for each student, no digital planners, no classes on coding or programming. I remember when the teacher would pull out the overhead projector for lectures. My school certainly wasn’t set up for the level of technology use that teachers were faced with recently.
It’s exciting to think back on how much has changed in the educational landscape since then! Since my high school graduation, social media use has skyrocketed, video conferencing has streamlined and improved greatly. Most students have personal laptops but also smartphones, iPads, watches, and Alexas provide any information they could possibly want to know.
Technology changes on a dime. As education continues to systemically evolve, we’re going to see the many benefits of educational technology come to fruition over the next few decades.
Students are more engaged
“Bueller?” This scene from “Ferris Bueller” has to be the epitome of a bored, disinterested classroom. Whether out of a lack of interest in the topic or distraction, two things are happening here. They aren’t paying attention and they aren’t learning.
It’s been 35 years since that film came out and the classroom looks entirely different. Now teachers compete with a myriad of distractions that continues to evolve. So you may be wondering, how can teachers engage their students more effectively in the digital age? Well, I’m glad you asked! There are many ways to harness the positive power of technology and capture your student’s attention at the same time.
Meet them where they are – on devices, social media, websites, games – and bring this technology into your lessons, homework, projects. For example, their five-paragraph essay can become a blog. Now, not only are they more invested in what they’re learning but they’re building essential digital skills.
Part of increasing student engagement in any class is giving them an applicable reason for being there. Something they can relate to. Utilizing the interconnectivity of technology in the classroom helps you reap the benefits. Plus, your students are more likely to retain the information.
Incorporates different learning styles
There’s a big debate in education between the use of more personalized learning vs. a one-size-fits-all approach and it’s valid. When you have 30+ students in your class, it’s more difficult to create unique lesson plans that engage each student. Especially when you’re already overworked and underpaid as it is. We get it.
One of the many benefits of technology is that it provides an easier way to reach each student’s unique learning styles, playing to their various strengths and respond more intently to you.
- If your student is more aural, it means they retain information better by hearing it. Some ideas for using technology to your advantage here:
– Record your lessons! You can turn these into a private podcast that they can re-listen to as they study at home, use audiobooks. This helps you as well for any student that misses a class, they can be directed to your “podcast” and quickly get caught up.
– Students can use an app like Me Book that allows them to listen to stories and record themselves reading.
– Language teachers can make use of AI robots and chatbots to speak to students in different languages so they can practice as if talking to a real person.
- Visual learners respond more to things they can see and are prone to retain more information if they can read/watch it rather than listen.
– Try incorporating more graphic visuals aids to make the connection, or using more interactive videos in your lessons.
– You can use technology like coding to allow student to visually code a website, or apps like Canva and Photoshop to create graphics that underline their classroom comprehension and level of engagement.\
There are multiple benefits of technology is that it fosters a higher level of collaboration, not just within your classroom but on a global scale. It’s now easier than ever for students to work together with project management tools, video conference breakout rooms, social media, and even as simple as AirDropping files to someone in under a few minutes. This collaboration also works to the teachers’ benefit! If you’re grading papers, students can now see all of your notes and all communication can be kept in one space. Thus giving you more access to teaching students even outside of the school walls and time.
Embracing the global reach of the internet offers up exciting new possibilities for your students as well. Similar to pen-pals, maybe you have a sister school in a different country, and not only can the students communicate with each other as friends but they can also work remotely as teammates in completing a project. This would take a lot of planning of course, but the possibilities are endless!
Prepares Children for the Future
The single most important benefit of technology in the classroom is that it prepares students to be future-ready. We know that all students will need digital skills for their futures, but there are also many challenges when it comes to teaching digital skills.
At BSD Education, our goal is to prepare students for their undefined futures where artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and data privacy are all emerging topics with tremendous impacts on society. To accomplish this, we embed four approaches into our curriculum that have been identified as future proof and fundamental:
a) Computational Thinking
b) Design Thinking
d) Digital Citizenship
These are just a few of the many benefits to utilizing more technology in the classroom but I’d love to hear from you on how you use technology to boost student engagement or substantiate a lesson plan? Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you!