Technology can be a great addition to any school, but it can also be a logistical nightmare if added too quickly and not planned effectively. It’s important to think through exactly how you want to implement digital technology before you do, but once you do the outcomes are worth it.
If implemented well, technology can be a great pairing with expanded learning time — it can maximize and strengthen learning time. Technology and ELT mutually support one another. Technology takes time to be implemented well–time to train teachers and time for students to use the technology. Once implemented thoughtfully, technology can also support those additional opportunities like the ones we want to bring out with expanded learning time to create a more personalized, well-rounded learning experience.
As much as technology will increase student learning, it should also be used to leverage professional development, as an opportunity for teachers to connect, explore and share their learning as well. Here are reasons why it’s important to think about incorporating digital technology in your classroom alongside ELT:
- Personalized learning: All students can create their own learning paths. Students can go at their own pace based on their needs and interests. Technology can encourage students to take charge and be leaders of their own learning.
- Technology encourages creativity and independence: Students will have the opportunity to learn about any topic they are interested in. They are able to research their passions and follow their specific interests.
- Equitable access: All students in the school have equitable access to online courses opening up a world of learning possibilities with more courses and teachers online.
- Deeper Learning: Digital content, instructional materials and online and blended learning courses, once vetted by educators, are usually high-quality. Of course, the use of technology is an integral 21st century skill, but it can also build other 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.
- Accountability: It becomes easier to measure success and keep students engaged and accountable using digital platforms that have traceable data and ways to measure progression.
- Student organization: Doing work on computers keeps everything in one place, and it’s a lot easier to keep track of than a bunch of worksheets and workbooks
- No limit to progress: If a student is excelling past their peers, s/he doesn’t need to slow down or wait for others; there doesn’t have to be a limiter for a student to continue moving forward.
- Differentiate teaching: Students learn in different ways, and using technology can be that hands-on-tool or graphic tool that really makes topics clearer to the learner.
- Motivation: Students can set their own goals,d learn how to work towards those benchmarks and feel accomplished as they see growth in their own learning.
- Connecting students around the world: Technology can provide a platform for all students to share their voice and skills. Technology acts as a connector to the whole world. Whether they are blogging, partaking in a Google+ hangout, students can connect with anyone globally and develop their own voice for reflecting, sharing or questioning.
If you are thinking about redesigning your school day, now is a great opportunity to incorporate technology as well. Utilizing technology in education can be a great way to manage a classroom and maximize instruction time. You can find lots of resources and articles on our TSC Technology in School Pinterest page.