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As educators, we are endowed with the responsibility of grooming budding minds of today into professionals of tomorrow. For decades, Technology in the Classroom this duty entailed using a systematic approach to convey information in the most straightforward way possible using passive learning techniques such as delivering lectures on a chalkboard and expecting students to follow up on the relevant curriculum on their own discretion.
Technology in the Classroom this archaic way of teaching might’ve conformed to the standard of preparing disciplined factory workers. However, the world of today has become a lot more complex and dynamic, rendering this model unable to cater to the sheer diversity of skill sets acquirable for an endless possibility of professions. In such a modernizing world, the obvious solution is to modernize your approach. And there is no better way to do this than to bring technology to the classroom and adopt digital learning.
Advantages of Digital Learning Technology in the Classroom
Digital learning, in a nutshell, means using a mode of instructions that partially or wholly makes use of technology. The utilization of platforms such as ZOOM to conduct online education is an example of digital learning but by far is only the tip of the iceberg. There are myriad of advantages that digital learning can bring:
1) Audio Visual Learning: Different students are responsive to different types of learning styles. While there are a few students that prefer the traditional mode of learning, a more extensive range of students is more receptive to audio and visual cues that can be incorporated through the use of technology. This holds true on all levels of education, from elementary to even graduate school. Not only do vibrant cues help in retaining a students’ attention, but they can also help in describing complex topics through visual examples in a manner that no amount of verbal abstraction can help convey.
2) Information Access: The internet is an ocean of information, and in a place of learning such as a classroom, information is of paramount importance. E-books are replacing traditional textbooks, and search engines are an easy alternative to libraries; having access to such resources can help students make use of their time efficiently, allowing them to find answers to their questions within the classroom under the supervision of their instructor of Technology in the Classroom.
3) Responsible Surfing: Most students have had some form of online exposure even before they formally attend an educational institution. With free and easy access to games and social media, students can develop a tendency to take technology and the internet in particular as a platform purely dedicated to entertainment. Once made, this association can have long-term detrimental effects, especially for children. This makes them easily impressionable from any online content they might consume and become unable to focus whenever access to the internet is in hand.
Suppose access to such technology is provided in a controlled environment with a productive purpose in mind. In that case, distorted associations can be prevented from being formed and can also assist students in learning how to use technology responsibly.
4) Programming: One of the platforms that modern civilization stands on is programming. It is so deeply rooted in our lives that we often don’t even notice. Automatic doors, lights, phones, TVs, cars all have some form of a program coded into them. There is no better way to state how big programming is than the fact that a student has a higher chance that he may need to apply programming skills somewhere in their life in a professional capacity compared to the Pythagoras theorem.
If you understand the importance of programming, you also need to understand that it is not possible to develop the necessary skills through lectures and textbooks alone. The best way to learn to program is to code, and there are so many books out there that are meant to teach children how to code easily using simple software.
Simple Ways to Incorporate Technology in the Classroom
Understanding the merits of digital learning is the first step; bringing it to your students is the next. Here are a few simple ways you can implement it:
1) Presentations: A straightforward way to make most of the technology is using presentations in lieu of a writing board. Of course, we don’t mean simply writing down what you would on the writing board on a PowerPoint and project it in the classroom. We mean to create visually appealing and information-rich slides with graphics to describe the subject of interest, with videos to develop interest and solve ambiguities.
2) Internet Assignments: Instead of handing out assignments on pen and paper, use an online platform such as Blackboard. Posting assignments online and opening discussion boards below them can help increase student engagement and allow you to track student progress in real-time.
3) Classroom Tablets: Not all schools are fortunate enough to have wiggle room to get tablets for students. If yours does, it’s possible to increase student engagement and classroom activity by posting questions to the tablets during lectures. This not only allows the shyer students to participate but can also help you monitor student progress in real-time.
4) Robotics: Robotics is a perfect way of teaching students how to program and understand the working of various moving structures and electronics. Today, various ready-made programs can be added to the curriculum to teach students about robotics, such as the Lego Prime Spike. Often enough, manuals for different grades are readily available, and robotic kits can be used with a bit of preparation on the instructor’s end.
Do Your Homework
Technology is a powerful tool, and using it to create a digital platform can certainly help elevate the classroom experience. However, as a recommended practice, you should try to become comfortable with any new digital learning technique before applying it to the classroom.