Students are exposed to different types of technology everywhere they go. It’s even commonplace in the classroom for today’s students. But technology used in the classroom should come with different expectations than technology meant for personal use.
Here are some tips for working with technology in the classroom.
1) Don’t assume that your students know how to use the technology.
EdSurge reported that students on a panel at New Media Consortium’s Summer Conference (NMC) urged educators not to assume that they are all tech savvy. Often thought to be “digital natives,” those same students may also be too embarrassed to ask for assistance. Even if your students have previously worked with a certain type of technology before, they may need a quick refresher on how to use it in your classroom.
2) Set guidelines and objectives for technology use before each lesson.
By giving your students clear guidelines for how technology should be used during a specific lesson, you are helping to set them up for success. Technology can facilitate more personalized learning experiences, but students still need lesson expectations set. Additionally, too much time allocated to a lesson can result in increased student distractions.
3) Incorporate collaborative learning when possible.
Technology can open up opportunities for students to teach and learn from one another. Bobby Blount, assistant superintendent in Cherokee County School District, selected virtual reality technology for use with middle school students. After implementation, he noticed that students collaborated when using the technology: “You have the students taking an active role in their learning and teachers are more of a facilitator.” Soft skills like teamwork and collaboration are also important skills for students to learn before they enter the workforce.
4) Don’t use technology for just for the sake of using technology.
Technology should enhance the learning experience. Sometimes it just makes more sense to do things the “old-fashioned” way, and that’s ok! It’s great to take risks and try something new, but if your students are not benefitting from the experience, it may not be the right time to incorporate new technology.
What other tips would you give educators for using technology in their classrooms?