Today’s students are fundamentally different from students 20 or even 10 years ago.
Remember when your backpack was stuffed with bulky binders and heavy textbooks?
Today’s elementary students have much less of a need to lug those items around with the abundance of education technology and online learning tools available.
Laptops or tablets have largely replaced binders, and e-books are becoming increasingly popular in schools.
Further, much of the supplementary learning and homework teachers assign today can be found on web-based sites that have assessments, videos and other materials that support educators in the teaching of new content.
Read on to find out more about why technology is an essential tool in today’s classroom.
Technology in the Classroom Keeps Students Engaged And Interested
The use of technology in the classroom meets expectations children already have in terms of how they consume information and the tools through which they learn.
According to The Learning Partnership, by the age of 8, 72% of children have used a tablet, smartphone or similar device.
Laptops and tablets, used in the classroom, engage and motivate students, building energy and excitement and a desire to learn.
When math skills, for example, are learned in the form of on-line games or apps, the sentiment is no longer “Why do I have to do this?” but rather “This is cool!”[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9kdIBlM424]
Educators have the opportunity to use technology, a tool kids are already familiar with and excited about, to achieve learning goals.
Executed effectively, schools can create a supportive, cooperative environment that’s in line with students and their potential for learning.
Technology breaks down barriers, allowing teachers and students to collaborate with others beyond just the four walls of the classroom.
Think of how learning communities can be created using tools like:
Other tools like Google Docs, allow students to work together on group projects both in and outside the classroom.
Chat forums can be used to connect with experts locally and around the world, creating enriched and diverse learning opportunities.
The Learning Partnership found that 90% of school leaders and teachers, and 77% of students are ready to embrace further technologies in the classroom.
Most important of all, technology can be used so teachers and students work together, in partnership, to create customized learning and achievement.
Promotes Higher-Level Thinking Skills
According to The Critical Thinking Community, critical thinking is any mode of thinking in which the thinker improves the quality of their thinking by:
- Assessing, and
- Reconstructing it
Working on assignments and projects, supported by technology tools, students sharpen their analytical and problem-solving skills as they work to assess and synthesize the information they’ve found online.
Mediums such as video, text, and images further allow students increased opportunities to express their understanding of what they’ve learned.
Educators, therefore, can use technology to improve critical thinking skills and transform learning.
In terms of education, technology in the classroom is no longer a “nice to have.” It has become an essential part of the toolkit children need for lifelong learning.
Used well, it empowers teachers to create amazing, personalized learning experiences that prepare students to be successful in a complex, knowledge-based society.