Decision-Making Tips and Guidance for Integrating Technology in the Classroom
Technology in the classroom is becoming more essential. Primary, secondary, and college students are incredibly tech-savvy and it’s hard to keep up with new tech tools. Most students use technology to communicate with each other and learn about the world. Teachers are finding it harder to ignore the importance of technology integration in the classroom. It creates learning opportunities that are more engaging and effective than traditional teaching methods.
The average public school in the United States provides at least one computer for every five students. The government is spending over $13 billion on education technology. Plus, it’s implementing programs and policies to promote the use of technology, increase educational productivity, and support student learning in innovative ways. This reduces the costs of instructional materials and program delivery. However, in some cases, incorporating education technologies in the classrooms have faced many obstacles. Major challenges have centered on the reluctance by administrators and teachers, lack of adequate preparation, lack of support, or sufficient funding.
Considerations for Choosing Classroom Learning Technology
When finding the best approach to classroom technology, an educator must consider several different factors, including:
- Technology matching student learning needs. This can be accomplished by first listing the academic goals each student should achieve, then finding the right learning technology instead of installing the technology and then building lessons around it.
- Technology being the right blend for the students, teachers, and parents. Everyone should be able to use the technology with ease. It should also be compatible with different platforms, such as computers, mobile devices, or tablets.
The i5 Approach for Modern Education
Jane E. Pollock and Susan Hensley created the i5 approach. In their book, i5 is defined as an instructional approach that combines the teaching of thinking skills with the use of technology to help students become stronger and more innovative thinkers. The authors further demonstrate how to incorporate the five i’s (information, images, interactions, inquiry, and innovation) into each lesson. By implementing the i5 approach, learners are equipped with 21st-century skills, which helps them become proficient for future endeavors. They can overcome real-world challenges and problems by gaining a deeper understanding of the subjects they are studying, rather than by simply reading from a textbook or learning from the old-fashioned chalkboard.
Educators should also adopt 21st-century alternatives to the classroom blackboard, such as Moodle whiteboards, Canvas by Instructure, and Desire2Learn, among others. Regardless of which learning system educators prefer to use, they must prepare learners for the future job market. That’s why a Chicago organization developed a framework for teaching the innovators of tomorrow. The framework is simple and includes six building blocks: planning for success, personal mindset, verbal communication, social awareness, problem-solving, and collaboration.
Using Assistive Technology for Education
Assistive technology represents any device, equipment, or software that lets people work without being limited by their physical challenges. With ever-evolving technology, many types of assistive technology have been created for education. This has helped lots of children with disabilities communicate, function, and learn better — and keep up with changing times. Some examples of assistive technology are hearing aids, visual aids, optical character recognition, annotation tools, and manipulatives — all of which help kids solve problems in alternative ways.
- How Assistive Learning Technology has Impacted the Disabled
- How to Bridge the Gap Between Technology and Special Education Students
- How Young Children Can Benefit From Assistive Technology
- How to Determine if Assistive Technology is Right for Your ELL Students
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
While integrating technology into classrooms, it’s recommended to use various systems to enable learning to be conducted in a coordinated manner. This can be achieved by using a Learning Management Systems (LMS). An LMS is a software application that creates, manages, delivers, and facilitates educational programs, online courses, and training plans. An LMS can generate reports, record results, track progress, and assess performance. Even in a corporate environment, an LMS can be used to provide online training and education to employees. This results in lower training costs and lesser training time.
Before selecting an LMS, it’s best to learn about how to evaluate a learning management system (LMS).
Some LMS Platforms for K-12:
Some LMS Platforms for Higher Education:
Some LMS Platforms for Corporate Training:
Practical Strategies for Managing and Using Technology
Educational technology has come a long way and many new technologies have replaced older ones. However, there have been numerous limitations, such as incompatibility with existing systems, lack of instructional time, or student distraction with newer ed-tech devices.
Here are some practical ways to make education technology more student-friendly, collaborative, and interesting:
- Don’t ban social media. Find smart ways to use social media in class since students are already engrossed in it.
- Let students play educational games on mobile devices, tablets, or other devices for the classroom.
- Use videos for mini-lessons.
- Share lesson details online.
Other Technology Strategies for Educators
- How to Integrate Technology with Teaching ELL Students
- Digital Storytelling: Putting Students’ Passion for Technology to Good Use
- Harnessing the Influence of Social Media in the Classroom
- How to Use Technology to Enhance a Lesson
- Creating Better Online Students: A Guide for Teachers
- Google Classroom Guide for Online Teachers
- Designing Your Virtual Classroom For Distance Learning
- Tech Try It! Parent Communication Tools
- Tech Try It! 5 Need-to-Know Tools
- Tech Try It! With Zoom