Whether many of us realise it or not, technology is used by us on a daily basis. Work, home, communities or out and about, we are subjected to it in a range of forms, and although it is sometimes frowned upon, in most ways, if offers opportunity and the chance to learn, so let's celebrate that. Many are just beginning to explore the true potential tech offers for teaching and learning. Properly used, it could help students to acquire the skills they need to survive and grow. If our world is rapidly advancing, then the generations should do so with it. A child's work is created in books and notepads, and is passed on to a teacher for them to mark and look at. Much of it will only be seen by these two individuals, even if it's something that the pupil is particularly proud of, so offering the use of laptop, ipads and computers could essentially change that. Using modern technology gives them the option to: record spoken word, create presentations, take photographs, make videos, run school newspapers, manage school radio stations, make websites or blog posts and share it with the world. These types of actions can help build confidence, self-expression and offers parents the opportunity to keep up with their children's classroom creations. Students need productivity tools for the same reasons we all do. They need to write, read, communicate, organise and schedule!
Technology essentially allows the tables to be turned. Instead of pupils listening and taking on the information, it pushes them to find most of the necessary material themselves, keeping the mind active and forcing them to stay engaged. We all know that concentrating can be difficult after while, we're all guilty of letting our minds stray else where, and it's particularly easy to do this when sat at a desk in a classroom. By setting a task, and giving the students the opportunity to find the information themselves, it gives little time for the children to think about anything else. Even starting with simple technology ideas and application programmes such as 'Microsoft Word' and 'Google Docs' will help to spark students interest, increase motivation and give the teacher different forms of assessments for each students. Yes, it could be argued that there is much distraction on the internet and elsewhere, but with the correct safeguards and programmes I think we're on to a winner!
"Technology is the ultimate tool for students. It's something they want to master. Learning to use it enhances their self-esteem and makes them excited about coming to school."
Another great example would be Ebooks. Information changes rapidly today, but these types of devices help children to keep up with what's going on right here, right now. We're definitely not suggesting that we replace the old fairytale and paperbacks. The traditional book that we're used to, especially the picture book reading experience, is a perfect & greatly rewarding exercise for building the kind of literacy needed in our society today. However some children struggle with reading, or loose interest, so this is why digital books can be a helpful part of a balanced life, that includes a range of physical activities, skill development, and social interactions. Bingo.
Part of providing our students with the best possible education is preparing them for the world they will enter after they walk through those school gates for the very last time. This means we have to give them the ability to learn both independently and collaboratively. It means turning our focus away from the usual way of writing, communicating and learning and becoming more comfortable with more real-world contexts. Many of us use technology in our offices, or use mobiles to text, call or email. So a great idea would be to utilise what we have today and use it to our advantage. Most of these skills are often sought after on cv's. Employers look for candidates that are computer capable and up to date with the latest technological advances, so giving children the opportunity to get a head start from an early age would definitely benefit them in future endeavours.
By learning to use technology in the classroom, both teachers and students will develop skills essential for the 21st century. We understand that there is much to consider when implementing such ideas in to a school curriculum, but it's a step in the right direction. As generations continue to grow, so will our devices. There is little reason to shy away from mobiles, ipads, computers and laptops because they are a significant part of our lives every day. People argue that introducing such tools may cause danger and distraction but surely educating our children in how to use technology safely and to their advantage would be the wisest possible route?!