How to use Tech effectively in your classroom today

Teaching Strategies

By Michael Hilkemeijer

 

There are many ideas on using technology in the classroom such as storytelling, blogging etc, however, the effective use of tech is not just about implementing these ideas in the classroom.

Technology, unless it is supported by effective strategies by yourself as the teacher, will be nothing more than a social tool for students and a means of haphazardly developing various ICT techniques.

 

The use of tech in the classroom should be seen by teachers as more than this. Technology in the classroom to be used effectively should be a way to develop a student’s ICT capability and ICT literacy.

These are the skills, knowledge, and understanding our students need in an online and digital world.

 

Read on to discover how to effectively achieve this today.

 

Why technology should be used in the classroom?

There are many reasons why you should use technology in the classroom which include:

  • E-learning or Online Learning
  • ICT brings inclusion
  • ICT promotes higher-order thinking skills
  • ICT enhances subject learning
  • ICT use develops ICT literacy and ICT Capability
  • ICT use encourages collaboration
  • ICT use motivates learning
  • ICT in education improves engagement and knowledge retention
  • ICT use allows for effective Differentiation Instruction with technology
  • ICT integration is a key part of the national curriculum
  • We live in an ICT-integrated society and education needs to reflect on changes occurring in society.

 

 

Technology to use in the classroom

 

What is the best technology to use in the classroom?

Technology integration is important, however, it is significant too that you just don’t use technology in the classroom for the sake of it.

Choose the best technology to use in the classroom by evaluating it effectively.

 

I would suggest that the best technology to use in the classroom would need to meet the same criteria as these:

They have to challenge students intellectually;

  1. Content-free – this gives them full control over the software;
  2. Generic software – this makes it easy for students to be able to transfer their skills across different contexts;
  3. Promotes the development of higher order thinking skills – which means that there is a high level of decision making by the students.

 

Why do I believe these are the best technology to use in the classroom?

Technology use in the classroom should:

  1. Support subject learning;
  2. Remain transparent in the background so that the student doesn’t actually realise that they are using tech to achieve a learning outcome.
  3. Facilitate the development of proficient users of ICT by developing their ICT capability and ICT literacy.

 

 

Examples of such technology in the classroom include:

  • Word processors;
  • Coding programs;
  • Desktop publishers;
  • Web design and creation;
  • Spreadsheets;
  • Databases;
  • Email;
  • Painting and drawing programs;
  • Digital cameras - still and recording;
  • Interactive whiteboard;
  • The Internet and web searching skills such as information literacy skills.

 

Technology to use in the classroom

 

How to use technology in the classroom effectively?

You may think that just simple exposure to technology will make for effective use. However, you may be mistaken.

Technology in the classroom will not be effective unless you unlock its potential by supporting its use with high impact teaching strategies with technology.

 

Progression in ICT requires understanding of a deeper level to facilitate the development of strategies and processes, to identify opportunities, solve problems and evaluate solutions.

 

Without an emphasis on conceptual understanding, the use of technology in the classroom will always be limited and ineffective.

 

High impact ICT teaching strategies for technology to use in the classroom include these learning outcomes of this accredited online workshop:

Understand how students learn with ICT – this is the foundation to all effective use of technology in the classroom.

Optimise opportunities for development – know when, why and where the use of technology in the classroom effectively in the curriculum.

Develop classroom practices for the effective use of technology in the classroom – what are the best teaching strategies with technology in the classroom?

Initiate a whole school approach – the development of student ICT capability through effective use of tech in the classroom can be achieved if other teachers are like-minded as yourself.

Effectively facilitate capabilities – what can’t you do as a teacher when using technology in the classroom.

 

This course has been beneficial. I have learned more about how to integrate ICT in the classroom and how to support the students who struggle in this area. The readings have been particularly useful and it has been great to see other professionals and their use of ICT in the classroom.”

- Kerrie 

 

"I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. I have learned the importance of ICT in all schools. This course has enhanced my ideas of classroom practice by giving me confidence in knowing that I was on the right track."

- Louise 

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