Every time you turn around, students have found something new to divert their attention from their schoolwork. Making rules to keep kids’ faces out of their screens may gain some begrudging cooperation but not necessarily enthusiastic class participation.
Why not introduce a new device or app that students find engaging and will boost their learning? Getting there first allows educators to gain student attention and spark creativity. That’s one of the many reasons to introduce new technology in the classroom. Here are a few more.
When students use laptops, tablets, or smartphones to solve problems or conduct research, they will come across information or technical challenges that require them to ask for help. Students with advanced technical skills can provide suggestions or work together to fix glitches or answer questions. Technology encourages students to employ critical and analytical thinking to get their devices to do what they need. Students could also develop more effective queries for search engines to return relevant results.
Accommodates Various Learning Styles
Technology can accommodate students’ learning styles, whether they are aural, visual, or kinesthetic learners. The internet can deliver information via video, audio, or text. Technology can even provide experiential learning through virtual reality or by providing “how to” visual guides that students can follow to understand things like how a machine works or how to tune a guitar.
Many of your students may be “makers,” creating unique items, from clothing to toys. Some kids using 3D printing technology in educational settings have designed useful objects like fidget toys and a fire mask kit that firefighters can toss to people awaiting rescue.
Develops Active Learning
When students use technology, they engage more of their learning abilities than simply sitting and listening to a lecture or passively viewing a video. Instead, they are seeking answers, information, and skills using individual resources. They can jump around, double-check information, explore related topics, and seek clarification as they work.
Of course, students will need guidance and often redirection from their teachers, but technology in the classroom enables students to direct their learning at their own pace.
Prepares Students for Their Future
The current generation of students has never been without the internet, cell phones, laptops, or tablets. They have incorporated technology into every aspect of their lives, from recreation (gaming) to artistic pursuits like music and film. A classroom lacking technology will seem like a foreign place.
Using technology in the classroom also teaches critical skills of “digital citizenship.” Students can learn how to protect their privacy, behave properly in online group settings, and avoid being the perpetrator or the victim of online bullying.
Educators will continue to find reasons to introduce new technology in the classroom to inspire and motivate students to learn, follow their curiosity, and develop their talents.