In this day and age, integrating technology in the classroom has become a mandatory criteria for the successful communication between students and teachers. And with every year that passes this becomes more and more necessary because education at all levels needs to be up to date with the current technological advancements.
Nowadays, children are born into a world governed by technology and they perceive most types of communication to be intertwined with a wide range of tech factors. Therefore, their initial opinion of a technology-free environment will be that it is utterly unappealing simply because they are unable to relate to it.
This is the main reason why introducing some of the technology that students use on a daily basis into their school experience will make them perceive the information they are presented with as something relevant and even useful.
What Type of Technology Can Be Used In The Classroom?
The main goals of integrating technology in the classroom are to improve the communication between teachers and students and to make the subject of the lesson palpable and relatable. In order to do this, teachers should use gadgets and gizmos that students are familiar with and to introduce content that they find relevant.
Video or Audio Content
This is by far the cheapest and most accessible learning tool that teachers can make use of in their classes. It has the ability to help students visualize the subject of the lesson and even connect with it.
They can choose to present the videos in class by using projectors or to assign them as homework. This way, the students can watch them at their own pace on the device of their choice.
Games and Interactive Platforms
Today’s students love computer games. Regardless of their age, almost all students out there spend at least a fraction of their free time playing games. Children are particularly fascinated by them, which makes educational games an extremely useful teaching tool for young students.
By presenting lessons in a format that children respond to with such enthusiasm, they become extremely motivated to go through the content, to understand it, and to gain the necessary skills to earn high scores in the game.
Education on Social Media
Students live and breathe for social media. It has become their favorite method of communication and therefore, it is indispensable to them for social interaction. This is the main reason why including education tools on social media will generate a positive response from them.
Teachers can organize class groups on social media where the students can interact with them and with each other about the class and the material presented in it. Furthermore, teachers can upload files, pictures and videos that students can experience in an environment that they are comfortable in.
What Do We Need To Access The Tech-Assisted Material?
A common misconception regarding the introduction of technology in the classroom is that it requires complex programs and costly gizmos that can run them. While this might still be true for some advanced tech programs, what most classrooms need are gadgets most of us already own.
This is one of the main tools required for using technology in class because it makes sharing the material extremely easy. Furthermore, it facilitates communication about the material and it inspires students to work together on understanding the contents.
However, the internet connection does not need to be indispensable, as long as there is solid communication between the teacher and the students. In the event that students experience issues with accessing the web-based content, they can talk to the teacher who can supply them with the material on a flash drive or a DVD.
Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops or PCs
Thanks to the evolution of technology, video, and audio files, games and websites can be easily accessed on a wide variety of devices ranging from smartphones and tablets to laptops and PCs. This is extremely useful because students can open the material wherever they are: at home, at school or on the road.
Furthermore, the likelihood that all the students are able to access the material is also increased considerably, because each of them owns or can gain use of at least one of these devices.
These are ideal for class lectures because they allow teachers to integrate videos and presentations in their lesson plans. This can make classes more interactive and it can make students pay attention for longer simply because they are presented with alternate types of material.
More Benefits of Technology in the Classroom
Presenting the material in a format that students are accustomed to can bring about considerable benefits for the learning system. Students will perceive certain subjects in a different way. Some gadgets have the ability to turn a boring class the students are obligated to take and consider to be obsolete and useless into an interactive discussion about something that is part of their world.
Students Are Interested In The Content
Introducing a video or a game that students can relate to in a lecture has been shown to increase their interest in the topic. The change comes simply from using a language that they can understand.
Students Gain Tech Experience
While students might be experts in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, they sometimes need help with educational platforms. Moreover, simply showing them that the Web can be used to access something else than entertainment content could introduce them to some healthy habits for their future, such as reading about the latest discoveries in their preferred fields.
The Students Can Learn At Their Own Pace
By providing students with material that they have access to outside school hours, they are able to learn at their own pace. This is why using technology in the classroom is essential for flipped classroom models.
Some students can take breaks, pause the material and revise basic notions so that they can understand the lesson while others can skip the parts that they already know.
Furthermore, by using various types of learning tools for lessons, visual, audio and kinesthetic learners are presented with appealing material that can improve their understanding of the subject.
Using Technology in the Classroom The Smart Way
One of the main barriers that teachers who want to innovate the education system are faced with is the fact that introducing technology in schools entails a massive investment. And while this might have truly been an issue a few years back, it is currently an impediment that can be easily overcome simply by using the appropriate planning.
Breaking Down the Cost Of Classroom Technology
Technology is getting cheaper and cheaper every year, at least from a functional standpoint. Think about what you could buy for $500 four years back and compare it to what you can buy for the same amount today. The difference is enormous because the demand for highly specialized gadgets has been growing exponentially, which has determined the growth of the size and quality of the offer.
As such, today’s tech market is populated with steep prices for the newest versions of the latest gadgets and attractive rates for models that are no longer in the spotlight. But taking into consideration that at the moment the differences between consecutive versions of a wide range of gadgets rely on fine tuning details rather than massive performance characteristics, we have access to highly efficient technology at affordable prices.
Therefore, the vast majority of students currently own a smartphone at the very least and quite a lot of them also own a tablet and a laptop or a PC. This is an extremely valuable asset for the teaching process because it means that the investment can be eliminated altogether if the plan is adapted to the technology that all the students already have access to.
Build Personalized Plans For the Class
Choosing the technology that is integrated into the teaching system needs to be done according to the financial possibilities of the students, specifically according to the type of gadgets they have access to. The aim is to make sure that all the students are able to access the material either by using a device that they own or one available in the school library.
Assistive Technology In the Classroom Is Not Necessarily Expensive Anymore
Considering that the offer for tech-assisted teaching materials has grown impressively over the last few years, there are a lot of programs and tools that are completely free. Furthermore, all that they require is an internet connection, which is already available in most schools.
From YouTube videos to free teaching games and interactive programs, the World Wide Web offers a wide range of accessible possibilities that are extremely easy to use and that can make a considerable difference in the teaching process.