Technology provides instant accessibility to information, which is why its presence in the classroom is so vital. Smart phones, computers, and tablets are already an ever present element of everyday life for both students and teachers. It’s only natural that the use of technological devices in the classroom are explored to create meaningful learning experiences for students of all ages.
Using different types of technology in the classroom, including a virtual classroom creates learners who are actively engaged with learning objectives. By implementing technology we also create pathways for differentiated instruction to meet the unique needs of students as individual learners within a broader classroom climate.
There is a common misconception that the integration of technology in the classroom can be a financial burden for schools, but students do not necessarily need their own tablets or laptops to succeed with technology. The use of technology during whole-class instruction can foster student engagement for auditory and visual learners.
Teachers often find success when they present the opportunity to use technology in the classroom. There are various benefits and effects when technology is used for educational instruction and some may argue that not all of the effects are positive. Having an infinite flow of information and entertainment available at any given time could be seen as a distraction, but if technology is integrated into the classroom with routines in place that are monitored or assessed, the pros of using technology in the classroom outweigh the cons.
Moreover, active engagement is a key part of any lesson plan. Whether students are working independently or collaboratively, technology engages students because it is interactive.
Finally, not all students learn and retain information in the same way or at the same speed. Technology is an opportunity for teachers to differentiate instruction to modify information for the appropriate learning capabilities of their students. The use of technology can also allow students to work at their own paces.
Author: Catherine Perri, JUMP Trainer