The 21st century is a breakthrough age for technology. Children as young as three are learning to use their parents smartphones and tablets. Online tools are replacing textbooks and students can research just about anything on a smartphone that is carried in their pocket. The impact of technology in today’s world is quite significant. Using technology to engage students in learning is the new norm in classrooms all around the country.
Classroom Blogs and Websites
One of the most common ways teachers are involving students in using technology in the classroom is by creating a classroom blog or website. Kids are involved in the content on the blog that ranges from projects ideas and presentations. It’s also an avenue for teachers to communicate with parents on what is happening on a daily basis while their children are in the care of a teacher.
Social media also plays a role in students learning. Twitter is becoming a go-to tool for many lessons. After each lesson, children are encouraged to recollect what they learned in 140 characters or less, much like a tweet. Students are also able to tweet questions and concerns to people they wouldn’t normally be able to communicate with.
Creating and editing movies has become very popular among high school students. Teachers are encouraged to allow students to express their creativity when it comes to their assignments. Using apps like iMovie are encouraging students to document, research, record, and edit a project from start to finish. The videos can even be published to school approved sites.
Podcasts are a popular way for people to listen in on interviews, stories, news, and more. Students can conduct an interview with a person related to the topic being studied. Once the podcast is edited and complete, the interview can be used as a tool in the classroom for open discussions, study material, or school news.
Popular among the younger grades, webquests are an instructional way for students to navigate themselves through the internet for specific information. This helps young students, new to using the web, direct their way through information that connects concepts with the real world. There are many webquests that are already constructed and ready to use, but teachers can create their own too.
Along with the whiteboard, smartboards are a standard in some of today’s classrooms. The use of a smartboard allows teachers to connect students with each other. Computers or tablets can be hooked up to it to show what is on the screen. Students can use a specific pen on the smartboard that is similar to using a mouse on a computer. Teachers and students can edit and create different material.
With technology changing every second, it is important for the format of teaching to change with it. Technology surrounds us in every aspect of life; the classroom should be no different. Integrating technology in the classroom provides children with the tools that will prepare them for the future.
Kimberly Lewis is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s Degree in education. She taught science at the Warren County Alternative School before choosing to continue her love of writing as a freelancer while at home raising her two children.