With the growing influence of new technology on today’s students, there is a growing necessity to expand the use of that same technology in the classroom.
The growing issue becomes the divide between ageing teachers who have less skill and knowledge with today’s new tech than the students that look to them for direction and education.
This divide places current teachers who have not kept up with changing tech trends at a significant disadvantage on the first day of school. While the following tips will not immediately rectify the issues with technology in the classroom, they will help direct change and preparation going forward.
1. Plan Ahead
There must be a plan in place to integrate technology in the classroom. This can be said at every level of the educational landscape from school board administrators considering the direction of entire districts all the way down to the individual classroom teachers. The plan cannot just be “put computers in the classroom.”
Teachers and administrators have to design a curriculum that is focused on the utilization of all available technological resources while providing structured learning that is both engaging and instructive.
A well-designed plan could include online resources, inter-classroom projects, multimedia presentations, and focused classroom participation.
2. Try New Things
Teachers using technology to their advantage have an opportunity to both broaden the student’s horizons and change up the old podium-and-lecture based methods. There are opportunities for classroom wide cooperation on projects and texts.
Teachers can assign homework that looks and feels to the students just like presentations in class.
Homework can be the lecture while in-class assignments are the practical questions normally assigned for use at home. Standalone lecture topics can be infused with video and audio clips that reinforce topical discussion. With the right preparation and creativity, nothing is impossible.
3. Design New Educational Tools
Technology changes and so should the classroom. Unfortunately, bureaucracy moves at a glacial pace and waiting for district-wide implementation will only have the classroom at least a generation behind the next, new thing.
The teacher must take this opportunity to expand his or her horizons and design a lesson plan that reflects the changes in emergent technology.
Consider that every new idea has to come from someone who became tired of the old way of doing things or saw the writing on the wall and jumped on a new opportunity. It is possible that the new direction that a teacher creates could very well be the next doctrine implemented on a district level. If the tech or plan isn’t around yet, make it.