Technology has transformed life as we know it, and the classroom looks much different than it did 50—or even 10—years ago. Traditional chalkboards have been replaced with digital whiteboards, and classrooms have a surplus of iPads.
Is this advancement to the detriment of your students, or does it benefit their learning? According to the Pew Research Center, 92% of teachers said that the internet has a major impact on their ability to access content, resources, and materials.* Here are some of the ways educational technology improves the classroom experience:
Creates a More Engaged Environment
You may think technology is just a distraction, but it can help encourage active participation in your classroom. Using devices like a computer, tablet, or other type of technology in your classroom can help turn traditionally dull subjects into interactive and fun activities.
Incorporates Different Learning Styles
Each child in your classroom is different, and it can be challenging to adjust your learning plan to fit every student. Fortunately, technology in education can help you modify your lessons. For example, Ryan Greene, an MS in Instructional Design and Technology graduate, chose online learning to earn his degree at Walden, and now applies his knowledge on integrating technology to help improve his classroom.
“Kids who might want to draw during the entire class can now create an infographic to demonstrate their capabilities and understanding of the content, which I might not have previously seen or assessed,” Greene said.†
His instructional design degree helped him elevate his approach in the classroom, giving students a more tailored experience that can benefit them in the future.
Teachers have observed an increased frequency of students helping each other when they’re using technology in the classroom. Many technology-based tasks involve other aspects, and this leads to situations where students need to seek help from their peers or the teacher.‡ Additionally, when students are assigned to small groups, the students who are more technologically advanced can assist their inexperienced peers.
Prepares Children for the Future
According to a CompTIA study, nine out of 10 students indicated that using technology in the classroom would help prepare them for the digital future.§ By teaching students skills like PowerPoint, you can help set your students up for success. Introducing instructional technology in the classroom at a young age can help prepare students for future digital demands.
Connects You With Your Students
Technology can help teachers form a better relationship with their students and their colleagues. For example, 84% of teachers report using the internet at least weekly to find content that will engage students.* Integrating technology into your lesson plans as well as using it to expand your own knowledge of subject matter can make a significant difference in the classroom.
Technology will undoubtedly continue to evolve, and it’s important to adjust your classroom style to align with its advancements. Greene offers some advice to fellow teachers: “Take the risk. Try something new. You never really know how effective a tool or approach will be until you try it. Using technology in your classroom also encourages critical thinking skills. Just dive in.”