Technology has revolutionized the way humans interact and connect with each other, and modern classrooms, homes, and offices are drastically different from how they were just 20 or 30 years ago. Students today need to prepare for a workplace more exposed than ever to social media, television, video games, and other technological advancements. By bringing technology into the classroom, teachers help prepare students to handle the professional world of the future. Here are seven ways teachers can leverage the Internet and other technologies to enhance classroom learning.
When using the Internet, teachers and their students have the opportunity to access seemingly limitless information. School projects are no longer confined to the reach of textbooks within their local libraries. Students can use Google to learn more about topics in far less time. Teachers can use the information students have at their fingertips to challenge them and encourage them to delve deeper into subjects and master the information.
Modern language skills are extremely valuable in the professional world. Allowing students to communicate with native speakers of that language is just one of the uses of technology in education. Students are able to hear the language, practice speaking skills, and enhance their overall understanding.
With a world that is increasingly defined by global trade and intercommunication, the opportunity to meet and speak with students in other countries is a valuable experience in itself. Geography, international history, languages, and cultures take on a much greater meaning when students can interact with people from that country rather than just learn about them in a textbook. Students can interview other children about their local customs and cultures to get first hand experiences.
Large classrooms with disproportionate student-to-teacher ratios make it challenging for a teacher to give individualized attention to each student. While the Internet is not a substitute for personal interaction, it does offer a wide range of resources for teachers to use to help some students gain understanding of the material. There are study guides, interactive diagrams, explanations, and videos all available on the Internet.
The Internet can be extremely helpful for students who have different learning styles. There may be some who will learn a subject the best when they can read the material, taking time to digest it. Others may learn better through videos or interactive instruction. These methods can all be taught simultaneously through the Internet.
With the Internet, not only will students have the opportunity to study using their preferred means of learning, they will also be able to better set the pace. In every classroom there are some students who grasp material quickly and become bored with subsequent repetition. On the other hand, there are students struggling to keep up. Technology can help teachers create lessons that will allow the quickly moving students to delve deeper into the subject or explore related topics while allowing the slower students more time to understand the material.
Students enjoy finding meaning to their work. While in the past they could create reports and projects that would be viewed only by their teacher and fellow students, their work can now be easily displayed online. They can create materials to be used by other students and get feedback on their ideas from students in other schools all over the world. This will help students take pride in their work and find meaning in their assignments.
Along the same lines, students can collaborate on projects with students from around the world. They can work with students from the school across the street or across the country. There is a full range of technology, such as the recent popularity in cloud technology, which will allow the students to speak and work together with ease without ever meeting in person.
Technology presents teachers the opportunity to open doors for their students. They have access to limitless information and students are better prepared to enter the workforce because integrating technology into their educational lives better prepares them for the global world.