I have to admit that the more I learn about technology and the use of technology in education, the more excited I get about the possibilities of how I can use it in the classroom to engage students and promote learning for a lifetime. On the other hand, there is so much new technology (software, hardware, devices, apps, websites, portals, widgets, and on and on) that I am also overwhelmed with just where to start and start in a way that will have an immediate impact on my students. What are some sound strategies? What are some good goals of technology in the classroom? While I found many examples of what good teachers are doing with technology, I narrowed them down to the following two examples. I chose these because I feel, as a relative technology novice, I will be able to easily follow the lead of these teacher as I move toward my own technology integration:
- Use technology to empower students and encourage creativity – One recent report on eschoolnews.com (Daccord, 2015), cited an example whereby a high school teacher allowed students to choose just how they wanted to demonstrate their understanding of a complex topic. In previous years, the teacher required students to write a comparative essay, but now he allows student to use iPads create video tutorials that explain, demonstrate and even teach the concept. My Goal: Give students a choice and provide opportunities for creativity by allowing and encouraging the use of technology to demonstrate learning.
- Use technology to connect students to new concepts – In her article on Teachnology’s website, Alejandra Rice (2010), discussed her difficulties in helping students to connect to abstract concepts or to lessons on places they’ve never been or objects they’ve never seen. Because students had no prior experience with these concepts, places, or objects, they were unable to make the connections necessary for learning to take place. Rice detailed her experiment with first showing pictures to eventually showing videos and using resources on the Internet to take students on a virtual tour. She found that students were more engaged in the activities and more easily made the connections needed to learn the concepts. My Goal: Use digital resources to help students make connections to new concepts and to engage students in their learning.
Daccord, T. (2015). 3 things great teachers do with technology. eSchool News. Retrieved on February 13, 2015 from: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/26/great-teachers-technology-072/3/
Rice, A. (2010). Connecting through technology. teAchnology. Retrieved on February 13, 2015 from: http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/connecting/