“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick
The use of technology in the classroom is an incredible idea to enhance learning and a way to increase the attention span of students. There are many ways technology can be integrated seamlessly into your lessons which will be discussed as you read on.
The incorporation of technology into our educational system in Nigeria and around the world has greatly helped teachers to do their job better and with lesser stress. It infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and handheld device, aids research work, provides instant access to information and it supports learning 24 hours a day.
From coming up with creative collaboration tools for students to facilitate group work, giving life to a lesson plan, there is a whole host of practical applications of technology in the classroom that has improved the classroom learning experience both online and offline.
Technology will undoubtedly help teachers form a better relationship with their students and parents or guardians. Once both students and teachers are open-minded and willing to incorporate the use of technology in the classroom, the sky's the limit.
Additionally, Edtech will help prepare the children for their future and career because the world is a global village and technology is the future.
Making Use Of Technology To Plan Lessons
The use of technology will help teachers plan their lessons better because they will have access to instant information that can greatly improve the set curriculum they are expected to teach. Teachers can use technology to come up with exciting lesson plans, use it to deliver the lessons engagingly, and then use it to assign homework and independent research after the class.
One of the best ways to integrate technology in the classroom is to make use of some of the many Edtech tools available to teachers and students.
We know that it can be sometimes challenging to organise events, activities with the number of students a teacher may have to teach. However, the introduction of some Edtech calendar tools has made it so much easier for teachers of today. You don't have to deal with a student forgetting to bring a textbook, or forgetting an event or even submitting their assignments. Creating a classroom calendar can certainly combat all of these.
A calendar app like google calendar is amazingly good for setting a reminder for your students, updating events, sharing whatever information you may need to communicate with your students and then sharing them with all your students or any of your students, in particular, you need to update.
With this, students can really not come up with the excuse of forgetting a due date, an assignment, upcoming tests or any important information because, with this app, you can program your calendar to set as many reminders as you want to continually remind your students.
The best part of this app is that you can decide to share the calendar with the student's parent or guardian. instances of misunderstanding or misinterpretation will likely be reduced with the introduction of a shared calendar.
Digital Field Trip
Teachers can now plan virtual field trips with their students with the use of technology. This makes learning for the students fun, interesting and more interactive.
If you’re teaching geography or even a subject like "history'' where you are bringing up various countries or specific cities, a digital field trip can be a highly memorable way to make it stick in the student’s minds.
You can use your time before the lesson to plan out a trip from one place to another, and jot down some questions you could ask along the way about the things the students may likely see during the virtual tour.
Google Earth or Google Street View is an example of an app that you as a teacher can use to create a virtual field trip or tour for your students. As you’re going on this virtual trip with your students, you can throw out the questions you’ve prepared to the class.
It will also be a great idea if you get the students input on where they would all like to go on a digital field trip. Consulting with the students can make them more invested in the idea which will give them an immersive experience to strengthen their connection to the subject material.
Going on virtual field trips or tour will certainly give your students more exposure and allow them to explore places, things, people and countries of the world without actually physically being there or leaving the classroom.
Making Use Of Technology During Class
There’s literally no end to the possibilities of using technology during class to impart knowledge to your students. Teachers might find that some of the best classes they have are the ones you improvise with the technology at your disposal.
Video/Multimedia Lessons and Presentations
When done rightly, video/multimedia lessons and presentations provide a perfect forum for combining images, text, and it aids public speaking especially with shy students in any classroom situation.
Encouraging students to do video presentations during the class will gradually improve their fluency in English or the language they are being taught or are learning and it would also help foster creativity in them.
Teachers incorporating videos into their lessons during a class also helps the students to learn and concentrate better. Some things may be explained better by the students actually visibly seeing what is being talked about.
Virtual guest speakers can also be brought on board during a class lesson via programs designed for conference calls such as zoom, skype, google hangouts and the likes. This will be fun and certainly a creative way to boost engagement with lessons while teaching a class.
Animations can also be introduced by the teachers as a form of learning by preparing a video or slides for a subject matter to captivate the attention of the students. You can also throw quizzes and videos into the class to keep the students on their toes and keep things entertaining. This can be projected with an interactive whiteboard or a digital-led screen to make the class more fun and interactive.
Classroom management can sometimes be a bit difficult for many teachers especially if you have to teach a whole lot of students at the same time. Managing a class of children can be difficult whether there are 10 students or 30 or even more. So the introduction of technology for classroom management for teachers is another fantastic idea that cannot be overemphasized.
One tool that is particularly recommended is the ClassDojo which is not commonly used in Nigeria. However, some schools preschool and primary schools have started using it in Nigeria.
ClassDojo allows the students in a class to pick their own unique monster and employs a points system to keep the students engaged in class. If the student performs a task or behaves well, then you can give them a point in front of the class. On the other hand, if they slack or misbehave, you can subtract a point.
You can also use it to give the students a clear indication of how close they are to a letter home to their parents or a trip to the headmaster’s office, which should keep them in check in the classroom.
Educare is another software that can be used to track students attendance, behavioural assessment, disciplinary module, manage and track assignments and grade students performance. It can be used for both primary and secondary schools
Making Use Of Technology Outside of the Classroom
The fun fact about technology is that it is not limited to the four walls of a classroom, it can be used anywhere at any place and at any time. It has made it possible for teaching and learning to continue beyond the classroom. You can use it to assign homework, give feedback on essays, and provide the students with research-based projects to do on their own terms.
Teachers are comfortable nowadays to give student research-based work knowing that they will have all the resources that might need at the tip of their hands.
Students can use their social media platform, cellphones, laptops and E-libraries, organize a virtual class or small group meetings to do a research-based project or a group assignment or continue learning beyond the classroom.
Our students and youths today are very much interested in innovation which makes them find technology rather fascinating, therefore can easily learn to use them effortlessly without the help of a teacher being present to help them.
They can easily also have access to their teachers outside their classroom through emails or conference tools. This has really boosted the teacher-student relationship.
You can also read up: The Impact Of Technology On Our Educational System