In the 21st century many Indian households have Generation Z kids who know how to operate their parent’s mobile phones at a very early age. This is because of the advancement in the field of technology and human evolution. These children are practically glued to tech devices and by age 15 most of them know the basics of coding, if not complete coding. With the arrival of online learning courses like Whitehat Jr, along with the emphasis given on using technology in the school curriculum, the pace and style in which children learn today, is very different from the traditional school setup.
This is why Educators need to equip themselves in order to cater to this new generation. There are umpteen advantages to using technology. Tech for Educators have listed the top six reasons why you should start integrating technology in your classroom.
Increases Classroom Engagement
When teachers effectively integrate technology into different subject areas, students become more willing to participate in classroom discussions. Technology has changed the learning environment so that learning is more hands-on. Children tend to be more interactive alongside technology which is used as a teaching aid. This also provides an opportunity for teachers to make their teaching-learning process more fun and interactive. For example, taking the students on a virtual field trip, having quizzes, debates, etc. With the various Google educational tools, the teacher can involve as many students in the learning process thereby increasing the overall classroom engagement. Engaging with technology in the classroom has not only helped students learn better, but they also acquire multi-tasking skills.
A wise man once said – “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote has since been proven by science; educators now call it “experiential learning.” The world is the teachers laboratory, the teacher needs to involve each child so that they become active learners and technology caters to just that. No one learns in the same way because of different learning styles and different abilities. Technology provides great opportunities for making learning more effective for everyone with different needs. For example, YouTube can be used to cater to audio-visual learners. Through technology children can learn at their own pace, while some children may even want to take it one step further and do some more research on a topic. Each child thus becomes an active learner and this leads to retention of the learning.
Increases Teamwork and Collaboration
Teamwork is an important life skill that each individual student must learn in school. To make learning interactive and collaborative the teacher can ask students to work together on a particular project using technology like the different Google tools, such as Docs, Groups, Hangouts etc. This prepares the students for real life situations and as the child steps out in the real world, he/she must know how to work with others and be a great teamplayer. Working together on a project increases responsibility, presentation, problem solving critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills in students. With technology the project can be completed from anywhere, students can work within and outside of school hours. This also implicitly teaches them time management skills.
Technology does have its advantages and disadvantages but we know that it is here to stay. This is why we need to teach our students netiquette (internet etiquette). This becomes possible only if we ourselves as educators incorporate technology into our teaching-learning process. We can demonstrate good netizen behaviour amongst our students at an early age. With the help of technology we can talk to our students about cyber bullying, virus threats, third party apps and scams all of which are important as these children will continue to use technology for the rest of their lives.
Technology is beneficial for both teacher and student. Teachers can use diverse means of learning resources such as apps or trusted online resources to enhance the traditional ways of teaching and to keep students more engaged. Virtual lesson plans, grading software and online assessments can help teachers save a lot of time. This time can be used for working with students who are lacking behind, thus benefiting the student. Technology has the ability to enhance communication between teachers and students. Assessing students’ performance can be done instantly with technology.
Gone are the days when teachers were only expected to stick to textbook content. Today both parents and students demand a wide range of learning material. Computers, tablets, and other forms of technology provide a market of resources for the teacher that’s not in the book. Technology keeps students engaged with exciting new features and apps. With technology, there are no limitations. Having access to information outside of the book, gives students many different ways to learn a concept. Teachers can come up with creative ways to teach their students.
Technology is necessary to succeed outside of primary and secondary education.
Whether we like it or not, there is no way around it. It is a primary part of every industry. The use of technology is an essential skill to learn since it changes so quickly, children are better off learning about it sooner. These days, technology means more than just learning basic computing skills. It is so much more.
Author: This article is written by Elrica Menezes for Tech for Educators blog. She is a Google Certified Educator and teaches at Jamnabai Narsee International School, Mumbai.