Education technology is a buzzing phrase; a concept that has gone from novelty to niche to absolutely necessary in the classroom over the past decade. Most educators are now agreed that technology can brilliantly enrich and enhance the learning experience, but there can be a tendency to be too gung-ho about just sticking it in left right and centre. With the current trend for incorporating tech into education absolutely booming, there can occasionally be a temptation for teachers to simply shoehorn technological aspects into the curriculum for the sake of it, without giving proper thought to how tech might be successfully integrated within lessons and manipulated to help students reap the greatest possible benefits.
A teacher, for example, who decides to replace a section of information she would ordinarily relay verbally to students with a video explaining the same facts, is unlikely to see any particular difference in the way her students react or how well they absorb the info. Simply putting technology in front of your students won’t be enough to unlock its learning potential, so follow these 5 tips to make technology click in the classroom.
1. Use technology to reinforce ideas
Just using tech to teach the same facts as you would have imparted to the students yourself won’t make a big impact, but using online games, quizzes or interactive puzzles to test their knowledge once they have learned the facts will certainly help them to sink in!
TRY IT: That Quiz
2. Use technology to flip the classroom
Another really useful way to integrate technology into your teaching is to allow students to use internet education sites or apps to learn the information you would have otherwise covered in class for homework, then use class time to go through the questions testing their knowledge afterwards. Many feel this allows the teacher to be involved at the more crucial, ‘hands-on’ stage of learning; this process is called ‘flipping the classroom’.
TRY IT: WatchKnowLearn
3. Use technology to explore new areas
Research and project development is one area in which technology can really make a difference in the classroom. Let students use Google and other search engines to find out as much as they can about a particular topic and engage with new information in exciting ways such as online field trips or interactive games.
TRY IT: NASA Virtual Labs
4. Use technology for presentations
Presenting with static slides or simply using a whiteboard marker can make it difficult to retain students’ attention. Try exciting new education technology tools like Prezi to create fascinating and dynamic presentations that enable students to interact with the information as they learn, zooming in and out between specific details and the wider picture.
TRY IT: Prezi
5.Use technology to collect and grade assignments
Submitting assignments online allows students to incorporate digital pictures, fonts and effects in their work, or to present their assignments in the form of Power Point presentations or even animations – the sky is the limit! Online grading systems allow the modern teacher to keep on top of complicated class mark schemes, and to compare students’ results at a glance in order to keep careful track of their progress.
TRY IT: Engrade
Try these 5 great ways to really make technology click in the classroom and let us know how you get on. What are your favourite ways to integrate tech into education? Let us know using the comments box below!