14 Examples of 21st Tech in the Classroom

Teaching Strategies

By Michael Hilkemeijer

 

There is so much emphasis on the use of and implementation of technology integration in the classroom. As a teacher, you are almost swamped at times. Technology integration in the classroom does have many benefits – one I believe is the motivation, engagement, and improve attainment levels in subject learning.

 

If you are to really stand out amongst your colleagues as a tech integrator then first it is important that you master the technology that is already available. You know…the here and now of the available technology! This is best achieved by imagining the potential for learning.

 

 

What about teacher knowledge of ICT tools and resources?

The ultimate aim of any technology to use in the classroom is to remain transparent in the background while the student learns the subject. Any student should not even be aware as such that they are using technology at all, but at the same time, whilst you doing this…..

You could also be developing their ICT capability and ICT literacy.

 

There is a simple rule which you need to remember:

  • Have a clearly defined purpose for the task – this will sharpen your focus on your interventions.
  • Be familiar with the program – this will help you identify the circumstances when students are ready to move onto a new feature or to use the software for a more demanding purpose.
  • Consider how the students will be introduced to the software – what needs to be clear before they start and what difficulties may arise.
  • It is more important for you to be knowledgeable about one program than to have a large acquaintance with a large number.
  • It is better for students to work with a small number of versatile programs and progressively develop their skills and confidence in these through carefully structured ICT activities.

 

 

Top 7 ICT tools to use Today

5 Reasons these are the top technology to use in the classroom

I believe that this technology to use in the classroom is good because ...

  1. Affordable, generic and commonly used
  2. You may know a bit about them which makes it easy to exploit
  3. You don’t need time to get to know and time you don’t have much of as a teacher.
  4. Each one of the challenges students intellectually.
  5. They develop student ICT capability and ICT literacy.

 

My examples of technology in the classroom that meet this criterion include:

Word Processors

I know, right? Everyone has one and students already know how to use them. However, it is extraordinary literacy and language development features that if you know how to exploit, you could enhance your students’ literacy skills a lot more.

Did you know that you can also create a web page with it too? You don’t need to go looking for web developers to use especially if you have this and you can’t afford the software. Imagine the potential if you got each student to design and create their own web page of something of their own interest, and then combined the whole class work into just one website!

Topping this off, its drawing and graphics features allows further ICT skills to develop.

 

Spreadsheets

This software is versatile and like word processors, the skills are transferrable throughout key learning areas which makes it great for STEM in primary school. Yet this is probably the MOST undervalued by teachers. Spreadsheets are very useful in presenting data and in particular great for alphabetical data. All this makes it a great ICT tool to use in the classroom today where organisational skills come in handy.

 

 

Web-searching skills

Information literacy skills are vital for the 21st-century worker. Students need these skills to survive and you can integrate these into any activity and for any subject with careful and thoughtful planning.

 

 

Desktop Publishers

Great for students to produce effective publications from school or home. They need to decide on the format such as a single page, book fold, or poster which is then followed by the page layout. Equally as good for literacy and language development as they are similar in many ways to a WP.

 

Presentation software

Today you can encourage students to use PowerPoint or Prezi. Both involve placing text, images, video and audio objects onto an animated sequence of screen shaped slides for display. You can plan a presentation using a storyboard which describes the content of each slide.

 

 

Databases

Carries two main processes in education: creation and interrogation. It involves deciding on the purpose of sorting the data. Students need to devise a structure for the information to be stored.

 

 

Graphics and drawing programs

Images can be used for many subjects like literacy learning. So if you can get your hands on something like Photoshop it's great, but I suggest that you assess the capabilities of your students first. You may want to use something a little less sophisticated like MS Paint. Yeah, I know! It is very basic, but you can easily imagine the learning potential with it. At least try it out first and then when you have determined their capabilities apply high impact teaching strategies to promote learning progression in the software.

 

What technology do you use in the classroom? Do you agree with the above? In my opinion, the reason why technology should be used in the classroom is for primary teaches such as yourself to be able to ensure that when technology is used in the classroom by students you enable them to reach the stage where the technology they are using becomes sufficient 'transparent' that they are almost unaware of its existence.

This is the ultimate aim of developing ICT capability....to make the technology to use in the classroom 'transparent'. Your students must become so focused on using ICT as a tool to achieve other outcomes that they hardly noticed the technology is there itself. For this reason, I listed the above as the best technology to use in the classroom.

It is the goal that all primary school teachers should be aiming to achieve - equipping the students with sufficient experience to enable them to use ICT without having to stop and think.

 

 

Bottom 7 Examples Tech to try in the Classroom Today

These are only the bottom because I prefer to optimise readily available tech in the classroom before I move on to the fancier things.

 

  • Classcraft – engages students in an educational learning environment using gaming principles.
  • Seesaw – I do recommend this for a reason as I have seen this work well with my own daughter’s class during lockdown for Covid-19. Good use of videos and quite interactive for both teacher and student.
  • Google Classroom – during lockdown anything online and that is cloud-based is great. Google offers this product for free which allows all schools to benefit from it.
  • YouTube – video is a great way to teach. You could record a full lesson or partial lesson and then send the link to students to watch. It is also good for students who are away or sick to catch up on what they missed and to be able to hear the teacher’s voice and explain things in the video is fantastic.
  • Adobe Spark Video – students can engage in content by being able to teach it themselves. This is an app that students can use to create instructional videos.
  • Nearpod VR – virtual reality are web-based systems that provide tools for teachers and students to help manage to learn. It assists teachers to structure the curriculum over a period of time. Teachers can enhance lessons with ease.

  • Voki – there is nothing like this as it allows students to create their own avatar with voices. There are recommended lesson plans that you can use for most subjects.

 

 

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