Technology has become a bad word in early education. Sure, some parents misappropriate iPads and TVs as distraction tactics (we’ve all probably done it at some point or another), but I believe technology should be considered a powerful tool within schools. After all, kids these days surround themselves with electronics, starting at an early age. Rather than discourage them from an inevitable aspect of their life, I believe we should leverage it to benefit our youth and support learning initiatives.
Reassess Your Concept of Classroom Tech
Don’t think of these aspects as a distraction or barrier between educators and students. Instead, we need to see them as tools to progress our children’s learning. As the Silicon Valley Education Foundation described in a recent report, “The advent of the internet, and the subsequent proliferation of connected devices, is democratizing learning and leveling the playing field for all.” We need to harness that potential.
An hour long powerpoint probably isn’t going to get students excited about their role in the classroom. Some products don’t create interaction, but a lot of them do. I think it’s important to consider the type of tools we adopt in the classroom. We want to ensure that they heighten students’ experiences, support the educators’ learning initiatives, but also foster collaboration between students and teachers alike. As Kayla Matthews describes, “A familiar and well-versed realm, technology can be used to help teacher surpass the traditional passive instruction model and borrow from today’s interactive world. Because active participation can be required with some tech-based activities, more active student engagement can be an outcome.”
A More Creative Classroom
In putting the onus on students and giving them opportunities to experiment and take control of their education, we inspire more creativity as well as help them to become more invested in their projects and ultimately their education.
Seamless School Systems
Technology benefits teachers and administrations as well. As Howard Elias described in Forbes, “Cloud computing can serve as the basis for a fully integrated educational platform that gives students, teachers, parents, and administrators an easier way to participate, administrate, evaluate and educate.” It’s not just via the cloud either. By finding approaches that encourage educators while engaging students is a win-win for everyone involved.
Now that I convinced you to add a few apps into the mix, you may find yourself wondering where to being. TeachersWithApps.com created a nice compilation of 25 ‘teacher tools’ you may want to integrate into your classroom. You can find the full list here. Parents – you might find a few of these helpful as well too.